On Thursday evening, Karnataka Police arrested Mahesh Vikram Hegde, the owner of Post Card News. He is accused of spreading countless fake and fabricated news through his website Post Card News.
Hegde, who has been publishing fake news for a long time defying law and order, made a tweet on March 19 stating that some Muslim youths attacked and injured a Jain monk. This is happening to Hindus in Karnataka.
But this thing was false. In the investigation of the incident, it came to light that Jain sage was injured in a road accident. An alcoholic had hit him with his motorcycle in a drunken state.
The police have then arrested Hegde under sections 153 (a), 295 (a) and 120 (b) of the Indian Penal Code for spreading rumors.
With the arrest of Hegde, a glimpse of his political relations and political patronage was also seen on social media. Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde and BJP MP Pratap Simha tweeted opposing Mahesh Vikram Hegde’s arrest and targeted the Karnataka government.
Mahesh Vikram Hegad broke almost all records of fake, false, fabricated news within two-three years of the post card news coming into existence. His list of immoral exploits is long. Here is a list of some fake news spread by him, which shows the mindset and purpose with which Hegde was doing this.
1- fake photo of killing of Baloch children
On May 18, 2015, Post Card News shared a picture of the two children on Twitter. It has been claimed that both children are from Balochistan and people are being killed there. While the reality was that this picture was with all media organizations for ten years. This picture was also present on Flickr.
2- See, Birbhum is a part of Pakistan.
On 18 April 2017, Post Card News claimed that two Muslim IPS officers killed Hanuman devotees on the day of Hanuman Jayanti. In support of this, Post Card News also showed a video. Later, the video was found fake in Alt News investigation. This video was available on YouTube since 2014. It was later removed from the website of Post Card News.
3- Mamta Banerjee government will take separate engineering exam for minorities
This news was posted on the web of Post Card News on 17 May 2017. Whereas in 2017, no such decision was taken by the government.
It was written on the basis of Economic Times news. Not only was this old news, but the Supreme Court’s decision was written incorrectly. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka already had such a system.
4- Hizbul Mujahideen’s terrorist Zakir Rashid who gives lift to Barkha Dutta
Post Card News edited the old picture of Barkha Dutt. Zakir Musa’s face was added to that picture. This news was also fake.
5- 7748 murder, 7238 rapes and 11,000 kidnappings … all this Siddaramaiah
Post Card News has published the statement of Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde. While the information is completely wrong. The NCRB figures are quite different from this.
Post card news actually works on a trend in which opposition leaders, minorities and parties have to be ridiculed. The BJP and right-wing leaders have to be praised. Journalists critical of the power have to be defamed.
Can this be seen as an attack on media freedom? The answer is no. This should be seen as an attempt to maintain law and order within a state. It should also be expected that action can be taken against those who spread fake news in the mainstream.