Karnataka journo held for morphing video to show Muslim woman saying 'Pak Zindabad'

The prime accused allegedly used the video to call for a bandh in Shanivarasanthe in Kodagu district, police said.
Representative image of police personnel and right to dignity
Representative image of police personnel and right to dignity
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A news reporter and two other people have been booked by the Shanivarasanthe Police in Karnataka’s Kodagu district for allegedly morphing a video of a Muslim woman shouting ‘Ambedkar Zindabad’ to make it appear as if she was shouting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’. The reporter, who is the prime accused, has been identified as a man named Harish, Shanivarasanthe Police Inspector Parashiva Murthy said. According to the first information report (FIR) filed by the police, the other two who have been booked include a Gram Panchayat member, Raghu.

The inspector told TNM that the original video was captured when several family members of a Muslim man, who was arrested by the police, had gathered outside the police station on November 12. They claimed that the man was innocent, and demanded that he be released. The woman shouted ‘Ambedkar Zindabad’ at this protest and this was captured in the video.

This was allegedly morphed to make it appear like she was shouting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ and Harish and Raghu used the morphed video to call for a bandh in Shanivarasanthe on November 15, claiming that Hindus in the area were oppressed.

The third accused, Gireesha, also allegedly shared the morphed video on several WhatsApp groups with a message that said, “People from the Muslim community have shouted Pakistan Zindabad in front of the Shanivarasanthe police station. The police must arrest and register a case against these anti nationals.”

The FIR stated that these statements and the video have “disturbed the peace in society and could disrupt the law and order situation in the Shanivarasanthe police station limits”.

The police have booked the three accused under sections 34 [(criminal) acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention] and 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot—if rioting be committed—if not committed) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

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