The Tirunelveli police have booked YouTuber Maridhas for stoking communal sentiment based on a complaint against his videos about the coronavirus. The complaint was made online by an Islamic group based in Tirunelveli district.
The first such video was uploaded on the YouTube page 'Maridhas answers' on April 2 and is titled 'Terrorism + Corona = India's new problem|Tablighi Jamaat Issue'. In this video Maridhas claims that the coronavirus is being deliberately spread by terrorists to murder innocents across the world. He states in this video that when a terrorist becomes a suicide bomber he manages to kill about 100 people while coronavirus can kill 2,000 people. He then goes on to say that labelling this as terrorism is wrongly construed as statements against Muslims. Maridhas further adds that supporters of this terrorism protect themselves with their Muslim identity and claim they are being discriminated against.
The latest video on the subject was uploaded on April 4 where he alleges that the DMK was accusing him of speaking against Muslims. This video is titled â€˜Growing Corona numbers â€“ Is terrorism the reason? Is the DMK doing votebank politics?â€™
In this video he alleges that members of the Tablighi Jamaat were misbehaving with hospital staff while being isolated. He adds that the Muslim fundamentalists have become a 'headache' for doctors, nurses and police.
The YouTuber has been booked under sections 292 A, 295 A ( Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 505 ( 2 ) (Statements conducting public mischief) and under the Information Technology Act.
Speaking to TNM, an investigating official confirmed that Maridhas had been booked and stated that the complainant who has given details online, has been asked to come to the Melapalayam station in order for the investigation to proceed.
"The complaint was filed by a member of the Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam. But any action or summons to Maridhas will be given only after the lockdown is lifted on April 15," says the police official.
Meanwhile the YouTuber took to social media to defend himself and stated that these videos did not in any manner hurt the sentiments of Muslims. He claimed that the complaint was merely a way to threaten him. "I have never spoken in a manner that will hurt any religion nor do I have such intentions. I am giving voice for the justified issues of Hindus. But for this, I don't hurt Muslims or people of any religion for this," he said.