Four BJP sympathisers held on fake news cases, party says 'Emergency' in Karnataka

Karnataka police have taken action against five persons - Hemanth Kumar, Shruti Belakki, Sharada Diamond and Ajith Shetty Heranje - over two separate cases.
Four BJP sympathisers held on fake news cases, party says 'Emergency' in Karnataka
Four BJP sympathisers held on fake news cases, party says 'Emergency' in Karnataka
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The BJP in Karnataka has termed police action against five of its sympathisers as equal to imposing Emergency in the state. Journalists Mahesh Vikram Hegde and Hemanth Kumar, BJP sympathisers Shruti Belakki, Sharada Diamond and Ajith Shetty Heranje - were either detained or arrested in the past few days over instances of fake news propagated by them.

BJP leaders CT Ravi and Shobha Karandlaje were among the party leaders who took to social media to highlight the action against the five persons. CT Ravi alleged that this was the onset of an 'emergency' in Karnataka. BJP leaders and right wing sympathisers even trended the hashtag #EmergencyInKarnataka on Twitter.

Mahesh Vikram Hegde, founder of news portal Postcard News, notorious for posting fake stories, was detained by police on April 24 for publishing a fake letter which he claimed had been written by Karnataka Home Minister MB Patil to Sonia Gandhi in 2017. He was later let go after CID officials interrogated him. Shruti, Sharada and Hemanth were arrested for promoting the fake letter  that talked about a meeting that a few ministers held with representatives of the “Global Christian Council” and “World Islamic Organisation” regarding the strategy to be adopted for the Karnataka Assembly Elections. (These organisations do not exist).

Shruti Belakki, a resident of Dharwad, was first detained by the police for spreading the fake letter. Later, Hemanth Kumar, a Bengaluru-based journalist, and Sharada Diamond, an engineer, were arrested in connection with the same case. 

Meanwhile, an FIR was filed against Ajith Shetty Heranje and Gangadhar, the proprietor of news portal, for publishing photoshopped images of HD Kumaraswamy and his wife Radhika Kumaraswamy. The news portal published a story claiming that the duo were at a resort in Udupi. A complaint was lodged by Dinesh, the media secretary of the CM at High Grounds police station in Bengaluru. 

Dinesh stated that CM Kumaraswamy had in fact gone to Kaup in Udupi district for two days for naturopathy treatment.

"Gangadhar published the false write-up with the photoshopped image while Ajith shared it on social media. We have arrested these two persons," confirmed a police official at High Grounds police station. 

The duo were charged under sections 468 (forgery), 471 (using forged document as genuine), 474 (having possession of document known to be forged) 509 (insulting modesty of a woman), of the IPC. 

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