Youth created fake Muslim identity to threaten BJP MLC in Karnataka

The accused used some pictures from the social media profiles of random persons to build the profile

The accused used some pictures from the social media profiles of random persons to build the profile | Photo Credit: For representation only

Bagalkot police have arrested Siddharoodha Srikant Nirale, 31, who created a fake online identity of a Muslim youth to threaten a BJP legislator. He was produced in court and remanded in judicial custody.

The accused is a farmer from Shindi Kurbet village near Gokak in Belagavi district. Apart from cultivating crops, his family operates a nursery on the Gokak-Ghataprabha road.

The accused faces charges of creating a fake Facebook profile in the name of Mushtaq Ali and threatening family members of BJP MLC D.S. Arun, who is son of former chairman of legislative council D.H. Shankarmurthy.

Siddharoodha used some pictures from the social media profiles of random persons to build the profile. He began writing communally sensitive comments in response to news reports and statements of political leaders. He posted a series of comments after the murder of Harsha, a Bajrang Dal activist in Shivamogga. Later, he posted some communally sensitive messages using the social media handle ‘Mushtaq Ali’.

Siddharoodha also posted a message on D.S. Arun’s social media handle. One of his comments was: ‘You may think that a Hindu activist is dead today. But in the coming days, we will target your wife and children’.

The cyber, economics and narcotics police wing in Shivamogga had registered a case based on a complaint by the MLC.

In Bagalkot, police had registered a case following complaints by some right-wing activists. Investigators caught his digital footprint and confirmed his identity, police sources said.

“This case proves that whatever we read or see on social media may not be true. We appeal to the common people not to rely on social media posts blindly. They need to confirm and reconfirm all the claims made in social media posts before forming their opinions on any issue,’’ said Lokesh Jagalasar, Superintendent of Police, Bagalkot.

“It is a very good effort to solve the case, and I would like to congratulate the Bagalkot police. They used technology tools and solid groundwork to confirm that Siddharoodha was the person who created the fake profile,” said N. Satish Kumar, IGP, Western range. “The accused will be transferred to the Shivamogga police soon,” the IGP said.

Shivamogga Superintendent of Police B.M. Laxmi Prasad told The Hindu that the arrested person would be brought to Shivamogga for further investigation.

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Printable version | Mar 23, 2022 6:16:01 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/youth-created-fake-muslim-identity-to-threaten-bjp-mlc/article65252294.ece