‘Influencer’ held for posts against Karnataka government

Vinit Naik who runs X account ‘Bhiku Mhatre’ arrested in Goa; BJP promises all legal support to accused
Image used for representation
Image used for representation

BENGALURU: The cybercrime police in Bengaluru on Saturday night arrested a man from Goa for his hateful posts against the Karnataka Congress manifesto and for sharing an edited video clip of Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on reservations.

The arrested person, Vinit Naik -- a right-wing social media influencer, had posted the content on his X account ‘Bhiku Mhatre’ under the handle @MumbaichaDon. He was arrested based on a complaint filed on April 29 by J Saravanan, a resident of Srirampuram in Bengaluru and a Congress worker, with the cybercrime police. A case was registered against Naik under IPC Section 153(a) and Section 66(c) of the IT Act.

The complaint stated that between April 2 and April 29, Naik posted hate-filled posts, one of which targeted Siddaramaiah. It claimed that Congress “intends to take wealth from Hindus and redistribute it only to Muslims because it hates Hindus including SC/STs”.

The social media influencer’s son, Nagesh Naik, posted on X, “My father @MumbaichaDon has been arrested by @DgpKarnataka @CPBlr @BlrCityPolice A mail was sent by TWITTER and suddenly in the evening the Police showed up at the doorstep and took away my father! FIR is totally NOT pertinent! #ReleaseBhikuMhatre.”

BJP criticised the state government for the arrest. BJP national IT cell head Amit Malviya posted, “Karnataka Police has arrested @MumbaichaDon from Goa. We are in touch with his family and will ensure he gets all legal support. Congress has unleashed anarchy and is intolerant of dissent. But there won’t be another #Emergency in this country, ever.”

BJP MP Tejasvi Surya posted, “This is blatant abuse of power by Karnataka Congress Govt. We will fight this, both inside courts and outside.”

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