Kerala police on Monday arrested 3 people for allegedly circulating a fake photograph of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan having a feast at a newly inaugurated police station in the CM's hometown, Pinarayi.
The three accused, identified as VN Muhammad and K Maneesh from Mattanur and Sajith Kumar from Ancharakandy, have been arrested and an online defamation case has been registered. Police indicate more people could be arrested in the coming days. The fake photograph showed the CM sitting at a desk in the police station, having a feast on a plantain leaf as senior police officials look on.
The actual photo, however, taken during the inauguration of the new police station, showed the CM checking the general diary of the station, which was inaugurated on June 30.
Senior officers consisting of DGP Loknath Behera, inspector general of police Balram Kumar Upadhyay, ADGP Anil Kant, district police chief G Shiv Vikram and the station SI AV Dineshan were also present while the CM checked the general diary.
"The morphed photo which showed the CM eating rice on the desk was doing the rounds on WhatsApp. We arrested 3 people who forwarded the message to various groups. Underneath the photo was a message that claimed that senior police officers were enviously watching the CM relishing his food while they were on duty. The photo is clearly tampered with and we had to take action against whoever did this," Station Inspector AV Dineshan told TNM.
The incident comes a month after a Malayali NRI was arrested for issuing a death threat to the Chief Minister via a Facebook live video which went viral.
Krishnakumar Nair, who hails from Kothamangalam, lost his job in Abu Dhabi following several complaints against his live video. On arriving in Delhi from the Gulf, he was arrested by the police and has since been remanded.