Journalist, 2 BJP men held for morphing video to show Muslim woman saying ‘Pak Zindabad’

The accused are journalist Harish S.N, BJP’s Gram Panchayat member Raghu, and BJP local activist Girish. Photo: Vartha Bharati

A right-wing journalist and two BJP workers have been booked by the Karnataka Police for morphing a video of a Muslim woman saying “Ambedkar Zindabad” to make it appear as if she was raising the slogan “Pakistan Zindabad.”

The accused are journalist Harish S.N, BJP’s Gram Panchayat member Raghu, and BJP local activist Girish.

The incident happened in the Shanivarasanthe Police station area in Karnataka’s Kodagu district.

The original video accessed by Maktoob was captured when a group of Muslim women protested against the arrest of a Muslim man outside a police station on 12 November. The protesters claimed that the man was falsely charged, and demanded that he be released. A woman protester shouted ‘Ambedkar Zindabad’ at this protest and this was captured in the video.

The video was morphed to make it appear like the Muslim woman was shouting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ and Harish and Raghu used the morphed video to call for a bandh in Shanivarasanthe on 15 November, claiming that Hindus in the area were oppressed.

Girish, the Bharatiya Janata Party worker shared the morphed video on several WhatsApp groups with a message that read, “People from the Muslim community have shouted Pakistan Zindabad in front of the Shanivarasanthe police station. The police must arrest and register a case against these anti-nationals.”

Harish is a local reporter for Kannada Prabha, a Kannada daily and also the president of the journalist association in Somwarpet.

Police have booked the accused under sections 34 [(criminal) acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention] and 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot—if rioting be committed—if not committed) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).