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FIR against X handler claiming to be Arundhati Roy’s admirer for post against Meiteis

FIR against X handler claiming to be Arundhati Roy’s admirer for post against Meiteis

The profile photo used by the X handle @Polytikles. | @Polytikles/X

Imphal: The Imphal Police Department filed a first information complaint on Monday against an anonymous social media handle that claims to be a fan of author Arundhati Roy for uploading a message describing Manipur's dominant Meitei community as "terrorists".

Since May 2023, the state has been besieged by ethnic violence between the Kuki and Meitei populations. The violence has killed at least 224 people and uprooted 60,000 more.

The initial information report was filed in response to a complaint made by Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha member Desh Raj Yumnam against the handle, which uses the name "Arundhati" on the social media platform X and has a picture of the author, reported.

The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha is the youth wing of the ruling BJP. A news report previously reported that the charge had been filed against Arundhati Roy, who does not use X, however, Superintendent of Police (Imphal West) Shivakanta Singh verified to Scroll that only the X handle (@Polytikles) has been booked.

Yumnam claims that the handle that was posted on May 18, “BJP stands with Brij Bhusan, Revanna, Daksh Chowdhury & Terrorist Meitis [Meiteis] of Manipur.”

The post has since been deleted.

Yumnam in his complaint said that the handle made the “communal” statement to “defame and spread hatred against the [Meitei] community”.

“The accused also instigates a specific community to doing untoward acts by calling them a terrorist,” the complaint said.

According to the complaint, the remark was intended to incite fear and worry in the public. According to Yumnam, its goals were to "further separate the Meiteis and the Kukis" and "incite the public to overthrow the democratically elected government and to revolt against the present government." The first information report was made under sections of the Indian Penal Code dealing with fostering animosity between various groups, among other things.

The BJP leader and former head of the Wrestling Federation of India, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, was also mentioned by the X handle in the tweet. Six female wrestlers have accused Singh of sexual abuse.

It also named Prajwal Revanna, a Lok Sabha MP from Hassan, Karnataka, who is accused of sexually assaulting multiple women.

The tweet also named Daksh Chaudhary, who allegedly assaulted Kanhaiya Kumar, the Congress' Lok Sabha candidate from Northeast Delhi, on May 17 while campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections.

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