News channel News18 Tamil Nadu has filed a complaint with the Chennai Police against YouTuber Maridhas, accusing him of forging an email from a senior editor and for trying to incite communal disturbance, The News Minute reported on Sunday.
The Central Crime Branch will examine the complaint, according to The Hindu. The channel said Maridhas sent an email to the media house on July 5, accusing its journalists of running an “anti-Hindu” campaign for the last four years. Maridhas also claimed that journalists and editors in News18 Tamil were direct or indirect supporters of Dravidar Kazhagam and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. On July 10, the YouTuber posted a screenshot of an email from the channel’s editor Vinay Sarawagi, claiming that the management of the channel had “accepted all the allegations” against the news team in Tamil Nadu.
However, Sarawagi clarified on the same day that he had not sent any email to him. “There is a forged email in my name circulating on Twitter and WhatsApp,” he tweeted. “My office has initiated legal action in the matter.”
Maridhas also posted a video of the same allegations on his YouTube channel. The screenshot of the email by Sarawagi in his video read: “As an institution of unbiased professionalism, we have conducted a preliminary investigation and found most of your allegations are true. In this regard, we assure you that suitable actions will be initiated to prove our commitment to unbiased journalism.”
He claimed the email was sent from a Network18 server and that he “triple-checked” its authenticity. The news channel, however, stated that he has made false claims by posting a fabricated mail.
The channel said the allegations made by Maridhas are false and mischievous. It said the video would provoke people to commit offences against their journalists and reporters in Tamil Nadu. Denying allegations of being “anti-Hindu”, the media house said it does not discriminate on the basis of religion and is fully committed to the principles enshrined in the Constitution of India.
The network added that the acts and videos of Maridhas on social media promoted hatred between religious groups.