TN police deny reports that DMK workers killed woman who voted for BJP

Right-wing trolls and some media outlets had spread fake news that a woman who had voted for BJP was killed by DMK workers

As disturbing reports emerged from Tamil Nadu that a woman was attacked by DMK workers for voting for the BJP, the state police clarified that the reports are false. Upon closer examination, it was revealed that the narrative was fabricated and spread by right-wing accounts on social media.

The Tamil Nadu police have debunked the rumours and issued a warning to the public against propagation of false information which can disturb peace in the region.

The initial reports claimed that the attack on woman was politically motivated. It was claimed that the woman was specifically targeting her because she had voted for BJP. Tamil Nadu police, however, said the incident was rooted in a pre-existing enmity between two groups and had no connection to political affiliations. Despite this, the false narrative gained traction, fueled by right-wing social media accounts seeking to discredit the DMK and promote their own agenda.

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Right-wing narrative

Right-wing social media accounts and news outlets like OpIndia played a significant role in spreading the fake news surrounding the woman’s attack. By amplifying baseless claims and sensationalising the incident, these sources contributed to the dissemination of misinformation, creating a divisive and volatile environment.

“On Friday (19th April), a mob of Dravidra Munnetra Kazagham (DMK) workers allegedly attacked a woman named Gomathi for voting for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),” reported OpIndia on Sunday, April 21.

“The incident occurred in the Pakkirimaniyam village in the Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu. As per a report by Dinamalar, the DMK goons came to the residence of the woman, Gomathi, after learning that she had voted for the BJP,” The Opindia further read.

However, Opindia later added police statements denying such assertions to the story when the situation started to get heated.

Police action against misinformation

In response to the spread of false news, the police in Tamil Nadu have taken decisive action. Cases have been filed against individuals for inciting violence and promoting enmity between groups through the dissemination of fake news.

@MrSinha, a right-wing handler known for promoting anti-Muslim vitriol, removed his posts about the fake news after Tamil Police threatened to take harsh measures against him.

“Don’t spread false news. Stern legal action follows @MrSinha,” police warned.

According to the police statement, Gomathi, Jayakumar’s wife, was trying to assuage the two sides who were fighting without weapons. However, she suffered injuries that led to her ultimately death.

In addition, police said that, “Ten people who were charged in the case — Kalaimani, his wife Deepa, and their relatives Ravi, Meghnathan, and Indumani — were taken into custody and placed under judicial supervision on April 20.” They refuted the claim that the woman was attacked because she had voted for a specific party.

Pertinently, the news concerning migrant labourers from Bihar was circulated last year in 2023, claiming that they were being abused and killed in Tamil Nadu. The state’s tranquillity was going to be disturbed when the information subsequently spread like wildfire. However, the PTI Fact Check declared the reports as fake.

Subsequently, it was discovered some right-wing social media accounts and news outlets like Opindia and Dainik Bhaskar had major involvement in the circulation of the fake news.

The CEO of right-wing media OpIndia Rahul Roushan, editor-in-chief Nupur J Sharma, and Dainik Bhaskar News Editor Prasoon Mishra were summoned by the Tamil Nadu police for publishing “fake news” of attacks on Hindi-speaking migrant workers in Tamil Nadu.

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