In yet another attack on free speech in Karnataka, two youth have been arrested for allegedly making offensive videos attacking the Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and his family over the recent humiliating loss in the Lok Sabha elections.
The incident occurred after the Lok Sabha election results were announced on May 23, when two residents of Channapatna, Ramanagara district, 26-year old Siddaraju, a petrol pump attendant and his friend Chamaraju, 28, a cab driver had posted a video allegedly abusing Chief Minister Kumaraswamy including his father former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and son Nikhil Kumaraswamy, said High Grounds Police inspector Sadiq Pasha.
Reportedly, the video was made to offensively criticise the CM Kumaraswamy and his family over the disastrous performance in the Lok Sabha elections.
“When we tracked them down and questioned them, they said they were upset with the CM’s family politics and his party’s poor showing at the Lok Sabha elections,” the police said.
As the video went viral, one of the JDS workers got upset about the video and lodged the complaint at High Grounds police station at Bengaluru. High Grounds police soon swung into action and arrested the duo for posting videos against CM Kumaraswamy.
The police have registered a case under IPC sections 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 505 (2) (intent to incite offence against community). A court has remanded the men in judicial custody.
Soon after a humiliating loss for the JDS in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Chief Minister Kumaraswamy seems to have resorted to offensive measures to stifle free speech and avoid criticism against his leadership in the state. Congress-JD(S) formed an alliance government in the state in May 2018 after a very dramatic state assembly election.
Recently, Janata Dal-Secular had even gone to an extent of filing an FIR against senior journalist Vishweshwar Bhat for publishing an article on Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s son, Nikhil Kumaraswamy. In his Kannada daily Vishwavani, Bhat had published a report which talked about Nikhil Kumaraswamy’s alleged meltdown in a drunken state after losing Mandya Lok Sabha seat ‘to a woman’.