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India opposition social media chief arrested over doctored video

Congress leader Arun Reddy, entrusted with the management of the ‘Spirit of Congress’ X account and serving as the national coordinator for social media within the party, has been remanded to 3-day Police custody in relation to the purportedly doctored video involving Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Late on Friday evening, the IFSO unit of the Delhi Police apprehended him, subsequently presenting him before a judge who decreed the 3-day custody.

The contentious video allegedly features the Union Home Minister articulating opposition towards reservations in the country. Contrary to this portrayal, during his public address in Congress-governed Telangana, Amit Shah explicitly stated, “If the BJP forms the government here, we will withdraw the unconstitutional reservations to Muslims. We will ensure that the SCs, STs, and OBCs get quotas as guaranteed under the Constitution.”

Congress MP Manickam Tagore, acting as the Telangana Congress in-charge, decried the arrest as an abuse of authority by the Union government. Taking to X, Tagore demanded the immediate release of Arun Reddy, emphasizing the authoritarian misuse of power by the regime through hashtags #ReleaseSpiritOfCongress and #ReleaseArunReddy.

Furthermore, on Tuesday, the Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit of the Delhi Police summoned 16 individuals from across seven to eight states regarding the dissemination of the ‘doctored’ video involving Union Home Minister Amit Shah. These summons, issued under Sections 91 and 160 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), urged the individuals to participate in the investigation and furnish relevant documents and electronic devices as evidence.

Among those summoned were six members of the ruling Congress in Telangana, including Chief Minister Revanth Reddy, alongside individuals from various states. They were called to appear for questioning on May 1 at the IFSO unit in Delhi’s Dwarka. CrPC Section 160 empowers the police to summon individuals for investigation, while Section 91 allows them to requisition specific documents or gadgets as evidence.

In response, the BJP’s Telangana unit lodged a complaint against Chief Minister Revanth Reddy and the Congress’ state chief, accusing them of manipulating and altering Amit Shah’s speech. The complaint cited the posting of a ‘morphed’ and ‘fabricated’ video of Amit Shah on the official X handle of the Telangana Congress Pradesh Congress Party.

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