‘OpIndia’ CEO and editor booked for false information about attacks on migrant workers in Tamil Nadu
A complaint was filed by a DMK IT wing member who said that the website had created fear among labourers in the state.
Pro-government website OpIndia’s Chief Executive Officer Rahul Roushan and Editor Nupur Sharma were on Monday booked by the Tamil Nadu Police for allegedly spreading false information about attacks on migrant workers in the state, The Hindu reported.
Over the past two weeks, several videos have been shared on social media purportedly showing migrant workers, especially from Bihar, being attacked and even killed in Tamil Nadu.
The Tamil Nadu Police and state officials as well as fact checkers have said that the claims are fake. But the rumours have left industry leaders and manufacturers worried about a potential exodus of North Indian workers from the southern state.
The case against Roushan and Sharma was filed at the Thiruninravur Police Station in Thiruvallur district based on a complaint by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Information Technology Wing member Suryaprakash. The complaint said that OpIndia had created a sense of fear among the workers from other states in Tamil Nadu by spreading false information.
Roushan and Sharma have been booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 153 (A) (promoting enmity between different regional/language/caste groups), 505 (publishing and circulating reports containing rumours with intent to create enmity between communities), 505 (B) (statements conducing public mischief).
OpIndia has been regularly accused of spreading misinformation and hate speech.
On Monday, the Bihar Police also arrested Aman Kumar, a resident of Laxmipur in Jamui district, for allegedly sharing a fake video of migrants being killed and beaten up in Tamil Nadu, PTI reported. The Economic Offence Unit of Bihar Police also booked four persons in connection with the case.
On Sunday, the Tamil Nadu Police had booked BJP spokesperson in Uttar Pradesh Prashant Umrao, Patna-based journalist Mohammed Tanveer and an unidentified editor of Hindi newspaper Dainik Bhaskar for false information on the matter.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has also been accused of using disinformation to target the ruling parties in Tamil Nadu and Bihar.
Umrao, who also works as a standing counsel in the Supreme Court for the Goa government, had claimed in a tweet that 15 persons were hanged for speaking Hindi in Tamil Nadu and 12 of them were dead. The BJP spokesperson has been granted anticipatory bail till March 20 by the Delhi High Court, reported Live Law.
Dainik Bhaskar had published a report claiming that nearly 15 Biharis were killed in Tamil Nadu and that residents of the state were being attacked for speaking in Hindi. The report also claimed that Biharis in Tamil Nadu were facing “Talibani-style attacks”.