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The founder of online news portal, PostCard News Mahesh Vikram Hegde was arrested on Thursday (March 29) on charges of spreading spurious and communally sensitive news by the Karnataka police, Alt News reported.

Hegde was taken into custody after he posted on social media that Jain monk Upadhyaya Mayank Sagar Ji Maharaj was attacked by some Muslim youth. However, Jain monk was actually injured in a road accident.

Hegde’s arrest sparked outrage particularly from the BJP party. BJP MP Pratap Simha launched an attack on the ruling Congress government.

Simha tweeted: “Today morning Coward Congress Govt (Karnataka) arrested @mvmeet Mahesh Vikram Hegde under unconnected IT act 66, that too by using CCB! Shame on you @INCKarnataka.”

Postcard News, the publication run by Hegde is known for patently false news to polarize communities. Postcard News has time and again been promoted by senior members of BJP. States with non-BJP governments like West Bengal and Karnataka are a particular focus of the propaganda spread by this mega factory of fake news. Earlier in November 2017, an FIR had been filed against the admins of Postcard News for an alleged derogatory post,” Alt News reported .

—India Legal Bureau

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