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Tamil Nadu govt books BJP leader Prashant Patel Umrao, Dainik Bhaskar and others for claiming attacks on Bihari workers in the state

BJP spokesperson Prashant Patel Umrao, an editor of Hindi newspaper Dainik Bhaskar and journalist Mohammed Tanvir were charged with various offences under the Indian Criminal Code (IPC) for allegedly spreading false information that migrant workers had been attacked in Tamil Nadu.

Prashant Patel Umrao, a spokesperson for the Bharatiya Janata Party, has been charged by the Tamil Nadu Police with filing an FIR, under many sections of the Indian Criminal Code (IPC), accusing him of spreading false information about attacks on migrant labourers in Tamil Nadu.

An editor of Hindi Daily, Dainik Bhaskar and Mohammed Tanvir, a journalist, are also booked for allegedly disseminating false information and animosity. A Tamil Nadu police team has been assembled to arrest the accused.

Tanvir tweeted two films purporting to show attacks on Hindi-speaking migrant workers in Tamil Nadu.

Umrao posted on Twitter that, “15 migrants from Bihar were hung, 12 of whom to died in Tamil Nadu for speaking in Hindi,” along with the images of Tejashwi Yadav, the deputy chief minister of Bihar and Tamil Nadu CM M. K. Stalin.

He had added that despite the attacks on migrants, the Bihar leader attended the birthday celebrations of Stalin. However, the tweet was later deleted.

It is pertinent to note that a report by the Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar that was published on March 2, 2023, had earlier claimed that as many as 15 people have lost their lives in “Talibani” style attacks being carried out against the Hindi-speaking migrant labourers in the state. However, the Hindi newspaper has retracted that report and now, in its updated version, presented testimonies of the migrant labourers who have said that they are fleeing Tamil Nadu because of the violence that has been unleashed on Hindi-speaking migrant labourers in the state because of their linguistic identity.

On March 4, Thoothukudi Central police filed a complaint against the BJP leader under IPC sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with purpose to incite riot), 153A, 504 (intentional insult to instigate breach of peace), and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) for circulating erroneous information.

A Dainik Bhaskar editor was booked by Tiruppur North police station for violating IPC sections 505(i)(b) and 153(A) (promoting animosity amongst various groups).

Mohammed Tanveer was subsequently charged by the Tiruppur Cyber Crime Police for violating the same sections of the Information Technology Act 56(D).

A special team has been constituted, according to the Tamil Nadu police, to apprehend people circulating false information. “We are gathering information regarding people who distribute false information to undermine the tranquilly of the state and will take serious measures against them,” the statement said.

Tamil Nadu police provided helplines for anyone in need of departmental aid in order to help migrant workers.

Following a conversation between the director general of police for Tamil Nadu, Sylendra Babu who assured his counterpart in Bihar, that no such instance had occurred in the state, the case against the BJP spokesperson and Dainik Bhaskar was brought.

Nitish Kumar, the chief minister of Bihar, announced on Saturday that a four-person team will travel to the southern state to assess the situation.

An alleged video of attacks on migrant workers from Bihar who were employed in Tamil Nadu appeared on social media on Thursday, causing concerns and panic among the people and administration.

Update: The claims about murders and killing as well as the fingers of the Hindi-speaking migrant labourers being chopped and the labourers being locked in a room and hanged, which were reported by Dainik Bhaskar were retracted after the incident caused nationwide controversy. Since our reports were based on Dainik Bhaskar’s report and were reproduced here crediting them explicitly, we have removed those claims as well because Bhaskar doesn’t seem to be standing by it anymore.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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