The Bengaluru Police arrested the founder of news website Postcard News on Thursday evening for publishing a story that was found to be fake, The News Minute reported.
Mahesh Vikram Hegde was taken into custody for falsely claiming in a social media post on March 18 that a Jain monk from Karnataka had got injured after being attacked by a Muslim youth. It has been found that the monk had been injured in a road accident.
“No one safe in Siddaramaiah’s Karnataka,” the Facebook page of Postcard News said, according to AltNews. The post, which was accompanied by a picture of the monk with injuries on his arm and shoulder, has now been deleted. Hegde had posted the information on Twitter as well, AltNews reported.
The picture of the monk had, however, first appeared on a Jain publication on March 13, which reported that he had been injured in a road accident. The publication’s editor confirmed to AltNews that the monk, Mayank Sagar, had “a minor accident” after a motorcycle hit him in Kanakapura, Karnataka.
Hegde was arrested on the basis of two complaints – one of which was filed by the general secretary of the Bengaluru District Congress Committee, the police told The News Minute.
The police are investigating the matter. Hegde was booked for provocation with the intent to cause riot and criminal conspiracy under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code as well as Section 66 (dishonest act) of the Information Technology Act.
Hegde and his website have often been accused of writing fake news stories to propagate the right-wing Hindu nationalist agenda. He is one of the 1,936 people who Prime Minister Narendra Modi follows on Twitter.