The Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo told police officials to identify the woman in the fake news video that’s going viral and take action under relevant sections of the IPC.

An unidentified woman talking in the video
news 2021 Tamil Nadu Assembly Election Friday, March 26, 2021 - 16:23

Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Sathyabrata Sahoo has requested Director General of Police JK Tripathy and Under Secretary of Election Commission of India Pawan Diwan to remove a viral video circulated by a woman on social media platforms, containing misinformation about DMK’s poll promise about an inter-caste marriage scheme in the state. The Chief Electoral Officer and Principal Secretary to Government Satyabrata Sahoo also requested the officials to identify the woman who made the video and take action under relevant sections of IPCs to curb the violation.

In the second viral video on the same issue, an unidentified woman claims, “DMK in their Election Manifesto has given a dangerous promise. A bride from Mudaliyar, Brahmanar, Naidu, Vanniyar, Yadavar, Nadar, Agamudaiyar, Reddiyar, Pillai, Kallar, Maravar, Chettiyar, KonguVellalar, Mutharaiyar, if married to a groom from Scheduled Caste, will be rewarded with cash assistance of Rs 60,000 and 8 gm of gold, the DMK has promised in SL. No 259 of their Election manifesto.” Another video, with the exact same content, made by a man, was circulated last week and has been debunked. 

Point 259 of DMK manifesto talks about Anjugam Ammal Memorial Intercaste Marriage Assistance scheme, which was originally introduced in 1967. The scheme, which promotes inter-caste marriages and is similar to several other such schemes in many other states, says that if the bride or groom in an inter-caste marriage belongs to an Adi Dravidar or tribal community, the couple will be given a cash assistance of Rs 60,000 and an 8 gm gold coin.

Since the misinformation video went viral on social media platforms, DMK moved the Election Commission of India, following which Satyabrata Sahoo said, “A representation was received from RS Bharathi, MP, Organization Secretary of DMK Party, in which it was mentioned that a video of a woman talking in Tamil is being circulated across the state with false contents referring to the DMK party's Election Manifesto for General Elections to Tamil Nadu Assembly and the said video was attached.”

The petitioner has requested to block the said video in all social media platforms and to prosecute the person who talks in the video immediately, he said.

“In this regard, I am to inform you that the woman has not disclosed her identity or her political affiliation. However, her hate speech should be removed immediately from social media platforms from public viewing. Also her speech is punishable under Indian Penal Code sections 153A (Promoting enmity and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony),” he said.

He requested the Director General of Police and Under Secretary of Election Commission of India to identify the woman and take action under relevant sections of IPC. He also requested the EC to remove the content circulated in Whatsapp and other social media platforms immediately.

Earlier, speaking about the first fake news video, DMK MP RS Bharathi said, “The Anjugam Ammal Memorial Intercaste Marriage Assistance Scheme is a 55-year-old scheme. It continues to be in existence under different names even to this day. We have announced that we would be increasing the cash by Rs 10,000. A few have been falsely propagating this for the past two days. We will find out who they are and take action accordingly.” 

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