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Two Arrested for Dubbing Youth's Suicide 'Murder for Protecting Cows' in Karnataka

The police swung into action and detained Arjun Mutteppa Basaragi (31) and Fakkirappa Ramesh talawar (28) based on the Facebook accounts and WhatsApp numbers that forwarded the messages.

Stacy Pereira | CNN-News18

Updated:May 27, 2019, 2:54 PM IST
Two Arrested for Dubbing Youth's Suicide 'Murder for Protecting Cows' in Karnataka
Representative image.

Bengaluru: Two men were arrested on Sunday for spreading fake news and hate messages over a 19-year-old man’s suicide in Karnataka’s Gokak district.

On Saturday, Shivu Uppar was found hanging near Bagewadi Bus stand. Uppar had come to Gokak along with his parents for a visit. Based on preliminary investigation and his father’s statement, a case was registered under Section 174 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) ruling it as suicide or unnatural death.

However, soon after, messages began doing the rounds of the internet alleging Uppar’s suicide was a case of murder over cow protection.

"This was a clear case of 174 CrPC. But within a few hours before the investigation could begin, there was misinformation being circulated online claiming that he was murdered and hanged," said Belgavi SP Sudheer Kumar Reddy.

The police detained Arjun Mutteppa Basaragi (31) and Fakkirappa Ramesh talawar (28) on the following day based on the Facebook posts and WhatsApp numbers that forwarded the fake messages.

A case has been registered in Gokak town police limits under section 153 A of the Indian Penal Code — promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, language, etc. and 505(2) — statements conducive of public mischief, creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes.

However, even after the duo was arrested, BJP’s Chikkmangaluru MP-elect Shobha Karandlaje posted a tweet on Sunday evening, without verifying the details, claiming that the boy was hacked to death for protecting cows. She also demanded that the CM deals with it sternly and arrest the culprits.

"Shivu Uppar, a 19Yr old boy was murdered &hanged in Bagewadi Bus stand in Belagavi. He was hacked to death just for protecting cows from the cow smugglers, that was the only mistake he did. I demand CM to deal this sternly & arrest the culprits (SIC)," her tweet read.

Karadlaje’s tweet was retweeted 1,800 times. People also tagged BJP state president BS Yeddyruppa, BJP MLA Arvind Limbavalli and Bangaluru Central MP PC Mohan while retweeting her post. However, even after Karadlaje was alerted about the information being fake, the tweet was not deleted.

"We have arrested these two as it comes under our police limits, however there is no complaint yet, as far as the MP’s tweet is concerned, it is not in our jurisdiction" Belgavi SP said.

| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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