As an offshoot of the ongoing Mersal saga, Actor Vishal had criticized BJP leader H. Raja for advocating piracy by watching the movie online. Raja had claimed that he had seen the so-called offensive dialogues from the movie Mersal via some clips, and had not seen the movie since he did not have “the patience to watch a two-and-a-half hour movie.”
Based on this, Vishal had made the following statement:
“Dear Mr H Raja, as a leader and prominent personality, you are advocating piracy and blatantly agreeing to it”
He also wondered “how a political leader could watch a pirated version of a film (online)” and added that it “sets a bad example”. Vishal also demanded an apology from Raja on the matter, and pressed the government to enact more stringent anti-piracy laws. Raja on his part had clarified that he had not watched the movie and had only seen the clips received on his phone.
Today afternoon, just 1 day after Vishal’s outburst, reports began pouring in that the GST Intelligence Unit had raided Vishal’s premises. This supposed raid was linked to his statements from the earlier day, by media and politicians alike:
Now, the GST Intelligence Unit has issued a press release and squarely denied this raid:
According to the tweets of another reporter, the Jt Director of the GST Intelligence Unit claimed that some operations were going on in Chennai, but they had no connection to Vishal. He stopped short of revealing the actual persons who were raided:
Meanwhile, a Times Now journalist continued to claim that the raids had indeed been on Vishal.
Also, a report in TheNewsMinute claims that the actor’s production house however told media that four officers of the GST Intelligence Agency visited the office in the afternoon, for a routine inspection. Only time will tell which version is accurate, but it is quite telling how media persons and politicians propagate unverified news to gain a political advantage.