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Case against a BJP official for spreading false information and publishing defamatory content

Chennai Police booked a Tamil Nadu Bharatiya Janata Party official for spreading false information and posting defamatory content on social media with the aim of causing a riot, The Hindu reported Friday.

A case has been filed against Vinoj P Selvam, Chairman of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha State Unit after Chennai resident Elangovan filed a complaint with the police.

Elangovan spoke on Thursday of a Selvam’s tweet showing a caricature resembling Chief Minister MK Stalin standing next to a bulldozer as two machines demolish temples. The text above the image claimed that more than “130 temples had been demolished in 200 days”.

In the text accompanying the tweet, Selvam wrote in Tamil: “News that those who raised the black flag on Republic Day as Tamil Nadu during the Liberation War have demolished 130 sacred Hindu temples.”

Selvam claimed that Hinduism was more suppressed than it was during the independence struggle. He also encouraged citizens to vote for the BJP alliance in the local elections, which will be held on February 19.

Chennai Police Commissioner Shankar Jiwal has said that legal action will be taken against those who spread fake news or disinformation aimed at disturbing public peace and creating religious hatred using social media or WhatsApp, according to The Hindu.

The police convicted Selvam under sections 153 of the Indian Penal Code (gratuitous provocation, with intent to cause a riot), 505 and 505(1)(b) (statements conducive to public mischief).