A priest was arrested Manapadu near Thoothukudi for allegedly spreading rumours about Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's health on Friday, reported The New Indian Express. The cyber cell police arrested Antony Jesuraj after he posted comments about the chief minister’s health on his Facebook page. Jesuraj has been brought to Chennai for questioning.
With this, a total of five people have been arrested for allegedly circulating misinformation about the chief minister's illness. On October 12, two people were arrested by the Chennai Crime Branch. Thirumani Selvam from Thoothukudi and Balasundaram from Pammal were picked up for spreading rumours with intent to cause riots. On October 10, Chennai police had arrested two people for allegedly circulating similar rumours on social media platforms. One of the men arrested was a software engineer, who manages a website on which he apparently uploaded false information about the leader.
More than 50 cases have been registered against people for spreading similar rumours about Jayalalithaa who has been in hospital since September 22. On October 10, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam had launched a social media campaign urging supporters to help end speculation about the chief minister’s condition. The party has asked supporters to use the campaign’s image as their profile picture and use the hashtags #MyCMIsFine and #NoMoreRumours.
Several leaders including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and state Opposition leader MK Stalin have visited Apollo Hospital to meet the AIADMK chief. The chief minister's health has been a major concern for the state, even though the party has maintained that she is recovering. Mass prayer sessions, seeking divine intervention for the chief minister's speedy recovery, are being held across the state. Her illness comes as the state is embroiled in the Cauvery water-sharing dispute with Karnataka.