17 complaints filed against Kannada channels, no response from police

Karnataka’s Campaign Against Hate Speech (CAHS) group has filed at least 17 complaints against Kannada news channels over hate speech this year, but has received no acknowledgment, said the organization’s activists.

They filed the latest complaint against Public TV for their coverage of a crime that allegedly took place over a personal rivalry in Bengaluru. In a program aired on May 9 titled ‘Miscreants Who Had Planned To Throw Petrol Bombs On Temples Arrested’, CAHS said that the popular Kannada channel made unverified claims that the arrests were part of a larger conspiracy to target Hindus, according to The News Minute.
The complaint was submitted to Bengaluru Police Commissioner CH Pratap Reddy accusing Public TV anchor Arun Badiger of making false and unsubstantiated statements, claiming a ‘conspiracy‘ attempt to attack Hindus and the RSS. The investigating police told TNM that the anchor had linked the crime due to a personal feud, to the azaan and hijab row, including communal tensions in Hubballi, Shivamogga, Padarayanapura and KG Halli and DJ Halli in Bengaluru.
Hate Speech Beda or the CAHS launched in April 2020 also filed complaints against the editors of Power TV, Public TV, News18 Kannada and Asianet Suvarna for making unverified claims on Mandya-based student Muskaan Khan, saying that she “fled” India to go to Saudi Arabia and “meet with extremists”.

“Muskan has gone abroad, is this a conspiracy to meet extremists?”, the Power TV News wrote, while other channels also made similar claims.

Futher, the right-wing portal OpIndia had amplified this claim.

CAHS in its complaints said that the unverified claims made about Muskan’s trip to Saudi Arabia had endangered her. It said, “Such irresponsible and malicious reportage threatens to put Ms. Khan’s life and safety and that of her family’s in peril,” according to TNM.

Confirming it to Kannada daily Vartha Bharathi Mandya SP Yatish told that Muskan visited Saudi Arabia for personal reasons, for which police permission is not required and no complaint has been filed against her and her family.

Alt News also confirmed the reports that Muskan was in Saudi Arabia for the Umrah pilgrimage.

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