Environmental and social activist Piyush Manush has approached the Salem police, asking them to take action against Hindu Makkal Katchi President Arjun Sampath, after the latter posted a defamatory video of Piyush and his family on Facebook. The activist's complaint comes after he allegedly endured over a month of constant abuse and character assassination from members of the party and other right wing fringe groups. He claims that he has received over 500 phone calls, attacking the women in his family and even had to deal with videos and memes of his wife and children.
According to the activist, the abuse began on December 23, soon after a conversation that he had with the BJP's National Secretary H Raja. During the conversation, Piyush can be heard questioning H Raja on why he was seen seated next to rape accused and self proclaimed godman Nithyananda. After a recording of the conversation went viral, Piyush was reportedly at the receiving end of a lot of abuse. He says that he was able to deal with the posts and taunts, but claims that the recent posts on his daughter and wife have forced him to go to the police.
In a complaint to Commissioner K Shankar, Piyush says, "In recent days publishing fake news without an iota of truth based on purely wild imagination has become the norm.
I have been personally facing the same regularly and been tagged with several names based on the same.
Recently my family esp women folk have been dragged into the same with severe abuses and harrassment coming their way from elements from BJP and other fringe hindutva elements. Emboldened by the recent incidents of their leaders getting away with their offending pronouncements and crimes against institutions of this country, the deluge of abuses continues unabated by their followers and IT cell under fake profiles. (sic)"
He has further attached a post by Arjun Sampath, which has the video of a woman, pretending to be Piyush's wife and accusing him of cheating and partaking in illegal activities.
Speaking to TNM, Piyush said, "This was the last straw. It is all right if some fringe elements are doing this, but when the President of the party is going to share such videos, it is very problematic. I have been critical of all political parties in the past in regard to environmental damage done by developmental activities. But these right wing groups have taken the personal attack too far."
The Commissioner has handed over the case to the cyber crime cell and has assured the activist that an FIR will be filed against the Hindu Makkal Katchi leader.