Telangana police has been cracking the whip on YouTube channels that are spreading misinformation in order to influence the elections. On Wednesday, the Jubilee Hills police filed a case against YouTube channel TFC news (Tollywood Film City Media Pvt Ltd) which had shared a video claiming that a survey had predicted that TDP would sweep the Andhra Assembly polls – and the survey was allegedly falsely attributed to the Telangana State Intelligence Unit.
According to the police, the story published by TFC claimed that TDP would win 126 seats in the Andhra Assembly polls, while the YSRCP would win 39 seats, and Jana Sena would secure 10 seats, based on a ‘survey’ by the Telangana state intelligence. However, the intelligence wing denied carrying out any such survey.
TFC media, which primarily does political stories, has over 1 lakh subscribers.
Police said that the story was a ‘criminal conspiracy’ made to influence the Andhra elections in favour of the TDP. Police also said that along with TFC, they have also cracked down on Mango and Whacked Out media channels.
Speaking to TNM, Jubilee Hills Inspector, K Balakrishna Reddy said, “We have filed a case against TFC and its director Shakarmari Tejobhanu and summoned them. However, since our notice, they have deleted the video from the channel. We will take them to task nevertheless.”
He added, “We found several such videos which later get shared on WhatsApp and other mediums. After the case, we are monitoring YouTube channels closely that are deliberately spreading fake news about the elections.”
The complaint was filed by Inspector K Hari Prasad, Telangana State Intelligence, after he came across the video. Subsequently, Jubilee Hills police registered a case under section 66B of the I-T Act (punishment for cheating by personation by using computer resource), and sections 171 (wearing garb or carrying token used by public servant with fraudulent intent), 417 (punishment for cheating), 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property, 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.