India, Karnataka: Mahesh Vikram Hedge, the founder of a news website Postcard News, was arrested for a social media post that his website carried on March 18 claiming that a Jain monk was attacked. Mahesh was arrested by the Bengaluru Central Crime Branch on Thursday evening.

Post Card have been generating a social media sensation with the type of news he and his website postcard has been posting, most of the stories turned to be fake. Bengaluru Police Commissioner Suneel Kumar confirmed that Hegde was arrested for a story that he had carried on March 18 claiming that a Jain monk had been attacked.

The arrest was made on the basis of a fake news story published on March 18 on the Postcard. On March 18, Hegde and his site Postcard claimed that a Jain monk had been attacked by Muslim youth. The story was neither attributed to any credible news source nor any confirmation by a police official.

According to police, a Jain monk, Shri Upadhyaya Mayank Sagarji Maharaj who had come for the Shravanabelagola festival had met with an accident on March 13, but Postcard News published a status message on social media stating that he had been attacked by Muslim youth. The police claim that despite knowing the reality of the incident, Hegde and his website published the fake news to create enmity between the communities and give the government a bad name.

The sections applied are Section 66 of the Information Technology Act, Sec 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups), Sec 120B (criminal conspiracy) and Sec 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).

Hegde is followed by the Prime Minister of India on Twitter. Definitely Mahesh Vikram Hedge arrest should taken seriously and the police must do a thorough check on the reason of his arrest. One question we have is why the people or politician who spread fake news on the social media are never arrested.

About The Author

Pravin Pathak is an Indian fact-checker and news writer, writing news for Ayupp since 2014.

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