Gujarat: Cong MLA Mevani's close aide, AAP leader held for sharing fake video of Amit Shah

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Amit Shah Jignesh Mevani

Amit Shah (L); Jignesh Mevani (R)

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat police on Tuesday said they have arrested a Congress leader and an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) functionary for allegedly sharing Union Home Minister Amit Shah's deep fake video, in which he is purportedly seen announcing the curtailment of reservation rights of the SCs, STs and OBCs.

The Ahmedabad Cyber Crime Cell arrested the two persons, identified as Satish Vansola, a resident of Palanpur in Banaskantha and Rakesh Baria from Limkheda town of Dahod district, the police said in a release.

A preliminary probe revealed that Vansola has been working as the Personal Assistant (PA) of Congress MLA Jignesh Mevani since the last six years, while Baria has been serving as the AAP's Dahod district president since the last four years, it said.

Vansola, who belongs to the Dalit community, also serves as the general secretary of Banaskantha district Congress.

The duo was booked under section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 505(2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The release said the duo had uploaded the edited video of Amit Shah's speech with an intention to create enmity between reserved castes and unreserved castes in view of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

"Both of them had shared this edited video of Amit Shah on their Facebook pages. They received this video on their WhatsApp and investigations are still on to nab the person who had edited this video," said Deputy Commissioner of Police, Cyber Crime, Lavina Sinha.

Following Vansola's arrest, Mevani said Dalits from Banaskantha and Patan Lok Sabha seats will keep this in mind during voting.

"Satish is not just my PA, he is like my brother. BJP's IT Cell has been spreading fake videos for a long time. But instead of taking any action against them, police have arrested a common man like Vansola who had posted that video by mistake," said Mevani, working president of Gujarat Congress and MLA from Vadgam (SC) seat of Banaskantha.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday lodged a complaint with the Election Commission against the Congress, alleging that it circulated a "deep fake and morphed" video of Amit Shah to derail the poll process, and demanded strict action against the party.

The Special Cell of the Delhi Police had on Sunday registered an FIR after the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C), which is under the Ministry of Home Affairs, filed a complaint about the doctored video of Shah where his statements indicating a commitment to abolish quota for Muslims on religious ground in Telangana were changed to make it seem that he was advocating scrapping of all reservations.