Postcard News founder Mahesh Vikram Hegde arrested for running fake news

Henrietta Strickland
March 30, 2018

Captioning a photo of Jain monk Upadhyaya Mayank Sagar Ji Maharaj, who was recently injured in a road accident, Mr. Hegde had tweeted on March 19: "Very sad news, yesterday in Karnataka Jain muni attacked by Muslim youth". The complainant has alleged insult to cultural sentiments as the Postcard News had allegedly made offensive remarks about Kittur Rani Chennamma and Onake Obava, two historical figures from Karnataka.

Mahesh Vikram Hegde, who owns Postcard.news, claimed in the video that a Jain munni was attacked by a Muslim youth near Nanjangud and people are unsafe in the Siddaramaiah dispensation.

Hitting out at the ruling Congress, Hegde said in the tweet that no one is safe in Siddaramaiah's Karnataka.

The cybercrime cell of the Central Crime Branch on Wednesday arrested the founder of a news portal for posting a fake news post that went viral on social media.

The police have registered an FIR under sections 153A, 34 (common intention), 66 (dishonest act) of IT Act, 295A and 120B of the IPC, according to AltNews and are investigating the matter.

A police official was quoted by the report as saying, "Yes, it is true, he was arrested based on the Jain muni post. He was not hit by Muslim youths as claimed by Hegde".

According to reports, the monk was hit by a vehicle on March 13, not a bike, and the driver was not Muslim. Hegde has been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for promoting enmity between religious groups and spreading communally sensitive news.

Just ahead of the Karnataka polls, in which the ruling Congress faces a tough challenge with the BJP campaigning aggressively to wrest the state, the arrest has fuelled a political outcry. Incidentally, Hegde is followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter. "There was also a counter thread trending, "#KeepMaheshLocked".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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