Congress and AAP Leaders Arrested in Gujarat Over Alleged Fake Video of Amit Shah

Gujarat Police arrest opposition leaders for sharing doctored video of Amit Shah's speech, highlighting growing concern over political misinformation during elections.

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Nitish Verma
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Congress and AAP Leaders Arrested in Gujarat Over Alleged Fake Video of Amit Shah

Congress and AAP Leaders Arrested in Gujarat Over Alleged Fake Video of Amit Shah

The Gujarat Police have arrested several leaders from the opposition Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for allegedly sharing a manipulated video clip of Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The police have accused the leaders of circulating a doctored video that purportedly showed Shah announcing the curtailment of reservation rights for Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

Among those arrested are Satish Vansola, the personal assistant to Congress MLA Jignesh Mevani and the General Secretary of Banaskantha district Congress, and Rakesh Baria, the AAP's Dahod district President. The duo was booked under sections 153A and 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code for their alleged involvement in sharing the manipulated video on social media platforms.

The BJP has accused the Congress party of being behind the doctored clip, with Amit Shah alleging that the party has stooped to a new low in politics under Rahul Gandhi's leadership. "The Congress party has reached a new low under Rahul Gandhi's leadership. They are spreading a fake video, which has the potential to cause large-scale violence," Shah said.

The Election Commission had taken cognizance of the matter, and the police had filed an FIR against the accused. Multiple FIRs have been registered across the country over the alleged fake video, with most persons named being opposition party workers who shared the post on social media.

In the original video from his speech in Telangana on April 23, Shah had spoken about the BJP's intention to remove the 4% reservation for Muslims in the state. However, in the doctored clip, he is heard saying that the BJP plans to eradicate reservations for SCs, STs, and OBCs.

Why this matters: The circulation of manipulated videos and misinformation by political parties has become a growing concern, especially during election periods. Such incidents have the potential to create social unrest and impact the democratic process.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has directed the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre to keep a vigil on the fake videos spreading misinformation against the government and initiate actions under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code and cyber laws. The Delhi Police have summoned Telangana Congress Chief Revanth Reddy and five other members of the Telangana Congress for questioning in the case, as the video was shared from the handle of the Telangana Congress on April 27.

Key Takeaways

  • Gujarat Police arrested Congress, AAP leaders for sharing doctored video of Amit Shah.
  • The video falsely claimed Shah announced curtailment of reservations for SCs, STs, OBCs.
  • BJP accused Congress of being behind the doctored clip, Rahul Gandhi blamed.
  • Multiple FIRs filed across India, mostly against opposition party workers who shared video.
  • MHA directed cyber agency to monitor fake videos, Delhi Police summoned Telangana Cong chief.