A YouTuber has been arrested for cheating people by collecting money using an online crowdfunding platform for renovating a state-administered temple, police said. S Karthick Gopinath was arrested on Monday as he had not taken the prior approval of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Department for the purpose and he had used the money for his ‘personal’ purposes, they said.
Later, he was remanded to judicial custody after he was produced in a court, Avadi Police Commissionerate said.
IPC sections including cheating and a provision of the Information Technology Act has been invoked against him, they said. Seen as pro-Right wing, his arrest has led to a war of words in the social media.
BJP Tamil Nadu unit chief K Annamalai condemned the arrest and said it was done on ‘completely trumped charges’. On his twitter handle, Annamalai promised his party’s legal support to him and described Gopinath as a nationalist.
Gopinath runs a YouTube channel, ‘Ilaya Bharatham’ and he had campaigned for renovation and rebuilding of damaged statues in and around the famed Siruvachur Madhurakali Amman Temple in Perambalur district. He had pointed out in a video post on the repeated incidents that had led to damage of statues.
He had raised funds through an online crowdfunding platform, reportedly to the tune of about Rs 36 lakh for the repair and renovation purpose. Recently, the YouTuber had dubbed a news report of a news channel on this matter as derogatory and fake news. Gopinath had also posted a video on the progress related to the temple statues’ renovation initiative.
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