A caravan, an RTO ruckus and a threat: Why Kerala is talking about E Bull Jet brothers

The arrest has however become a huge talking point in Kerala especially after one fan threatened that ‘Kerala will burn’ because of the arrest.
Libin and Ebin
Libin and Ebin
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There are two audio clips going viral in Kerala- one is a call to Kollam CPI(M) MLA Mukesh and another to BJP Rajya Sabha member Suresh Gopi. The callers tell the politicians that they have an urgent issue to be addressed, and ask for help for E Bull Jet brothers. E Bull jet brothers? Who? What? This is exactly what the politicians ask. When the caller says E Bull Jet brothers were detained for modifying their vehicle, Suresh Gopi asks the caller to approach the Kerala Chief Minister for help. Mukesh diligently asks for the spelling of ‘E Bull Jet’ and then says, ‘I will enquire’.

E Bull Jet brothers- or Libin and Ebin- from Iritti in Kannur run a successful YouTube Channel with 1.73 million subscribers, and chronicle their travelogues. On August 9, they were detained by the Kannur police after they created a ruckus at the Motor Vehicles Department for confiscating their caravan which was illegally modified and had unpaid taxes. Some reports say that in a video, the brothers had flaunted their caravan ‘Napoleon’ claiming it was modified for Rs 2 crore and said that no one can make them pay tax. This video in turn was sent by someone to the Motor Vehicle Commissioner who ordered that it be seized. Moreover, the brothers had made a public announcement that they would be going to the MVD office and a crowd of fans gathered there creating unrest. At the MVD office in Kannur, the brothers went live again and alleged that the police were harassing them.

After the ruckus, they were detained and then arrested under 9 sections including destruction of public property, using force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty and breach of COVID 19 regulations.

The arrest has however become a huge talking point in Kerala especially after one fan threatened that ‘Kerala will burn’ because of the arrest. Unsurprisingly however, many others have come out in their support. “They are small kids, they don’t know anything. What mistake did they make to put them in central jail? We have seen how police protect other accused from mob attacks when getting arrested. In this case, look at how the police dragged them. Vehicle modification is considered a terrorist activity here,” another vlogger, said in support of E Bull Jet brothers. Some others shared pictures and videos of pink police cars and alleged that even the police have modified vehicles. Hashtags #SaveNapolean #saveebulljet were trending in different platforms. News channels have reported that many youngsters are calling their studios asking for help for the brothers.

While one section is supporting the brothers, there is also a large section of people who say that they don’t deserve any support. The comment that ‘Kerala will burn’ has made the police warn supporters that stringent action will be taken. Even below their last two YouTube videos regarding ‘Napoleon’ many people have questioned if rules don’t apply to the duo and why they threatened officers.

Another video of a trip they made during the pandemic has also gone viral. Travelling through Bihar, they can be heard cursing people for their road etiquettes. However, they coolly fix an ambulance siren on their vehicle to avoid traffic blocks and then zoom past a toll booth. The duo can be heard celebrating the fact that they didn't have to pay the toll amount.

“The support that they are enjoying is also worrying. For months they have made videos that are borderline homophobic and misogynistic. They also bought a Husky puppy and showed how it could not endure the heat during their travels,” another social media commentator told TNM.

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