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Woman arrested for posting provocative video on Lingayat issue

The police have arrested a woman for allegedly uploading a video of herself making a provocative speech on the Lingayat issue.

Superintendent of Police Sangeeta G. has said that Shruti Bellakki, a resident of Garag village in Dharwad taluk, was arrested on Wednesday and remanded in judicial custody till May 6.

In a press release, Ms. Sangeeta said that the Garag police have registered an FIR under sections 153 (A), 504, 505 (A) of IPC and sections 125 and 123 (3) (A) of the RP Act against the woman for uploading the video on social media before the election. The police said the provocative speech has the potential of creating enmity between different communities and unrest in the society.

In the video, Bellakki refers to a “fake” letter attributed to the then Water Resources Minister M.B. Patil and Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, and accuses the party of trying to divide the Lingayat community for political gains. She then gives a call for defeating Congress nominee for Dharwad Lok Sabha constituency Vinay Kulkarni.

Gag order

When the fake letter had become viral after being published in a daily, Mr. Patil had lodged a police complaint in Vijayapura and got a gag order from the Election Commission against publishing anything on the issue. Just before the second phase of elections in Karnataka, the Congress also demanded filing of criminal charges against a Kannada newspaper and news channel.

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