BJP Corporator arrested for circulating fake video showing rigged polls

After BJP Candidate Madhavi Latha was booked for using ‘dummy’ EVMs, a BJP corporator has been arrested for sharing a video falsely claiming it to show rigged polls in Telangana’s Hyderabad.
Image: The Siasat Daily

The Cybercrime Unit of the Hyderabad Police arrested Sravan Vurapalli, a BJP corporator, along with three others on May 16th for sharing an old video clip from Bengal that allegedly depicted rigging at a polling booth in Hyderabad. The video, which was falsely claimed to be from Bahadurpura, was circulated on social media earlier this week, after the recent Lok Sabha polling in Hyderabad.

Sravan Vurapalli, who represents Malkajgiri as a BJP GHMC corporator, was taken into custody from his office on Thursday evening, according to police officials. The arrests came after a complaint was filed by officials from the Election Commission of India (ECI), who reported the spread of the misleading video.

The video shared was said to convey poll rigging at Bahadurpura in Hyderabad. It shows the inside of a polling station, where an officer can be seen wearing a surgical mask. The footage also captures a person in a striped dark blue round-collar T-shirt standing beside a voting compartment, directing people as they enter. Each time someone exits the compartment, a beep can be heard. Social media users had been claiming that AIMIM had rigged the polling in the city.

However, according to the election commission of Telangana’s chief electoral officer (CEO) Vikas Raj the video shared by the BJP corporator and others is not from Telangana at all and is fake. The Hyderabad police had also earlier debunked the video and designated it as fake. The video is reportedly from a Bangla language channel.


The CEO Vikas Raj had also stated on May 1st that there were several complaints circulating about fake and doctored videos that were going to be addressed.

Interestingly, on the day of polls in Hyderabad, on May 13th, BJP’s candidate Madhavi Latha for the Hyderabad seat had also claimed there was rigging. On the day of polling, she had also gone around reportedly asking burqa clad Muslim women to show their faces and identity cards at the polling booths, which led to uproar on social media and an FIR registered against her. The candidate also had a fresh case filed against her recently for using ‘dummy’ EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines) to manipulate polling’s, as per a report in The Hindu. The Hyderabad Police also took two other BJP workers for reportedly manipulating polls. Latha was further booked with a case for even going to the police station and taking the EVMs that the police had seized from the Mangalghat Locality.



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