Updated: March 9, 2023

"BJP members from North Indian states....", Tamil Nadu CM on attack; videos spread

"BJP members from North Indian states....", Tamil Nadu CM on attack; videos spread

'Attack' on Bihari migrant workers in Tamil Nadu: MK Stalin, the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, spoke with Bihar's Nitish Kumar and assured him of the safety of men and women from his state.

MK Stalin, the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, accused 'BJP members from north Indian states' of spreading 'fake news' about the alleged assault on Bihari migrant workers on Thursday. He claimed a 'politically motivated plot' against his government, and noted that the rumours - which went viral on social media and were shared by some media outlets - surfaced just a day after he called on the opposition to unite against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the 2024 election.

He was referring to comments he made last week, during his birthday celebration, in which he was asked to be the opposition's prime ministerial face.

Stalin stated today that his state is home to people from all over India, and that ‘Tamils love brotherhood.... This is well known among our northern state brothers.’

"You can deduce the plot by noting that this (rumour spreading) occurred the day after I spoke about the need for a united, national-level alliance against the BJP. Few people made fake videos... spread false information. Members of the BJP from northern Indian states did this with malicious intent." he stated.

Stalin stated that he spoke with top police officials in his state as well as Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, and that the latter's government expressed "full satisfaction" after a delegation checked on the safety of Bihari migrant workers.

"Following this false information, I inquired and spoke with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. In Tamil Nadu, there have been no such incidents... The DGP (Sylendra Babu) has clarified the situation. Even Bihar delegates visited and returned completely satisfied "According to the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader.

Stalin, TN government reach out

On Tuesday, Stalin visited some migrant communities to assuage fears and panic caused by fake videos of attacks on Bihari workers.

On the same day, senior DMK leader TR Baalu - his party's Lok Sabha leader - met with Nitish Kumar in Patna to assure him of the safety of migrant workers. Stalin has also called Nitish Kumar.

What occurred?

Tamil Nadu has a large population of workers from northern states such as Bihar who work in a variety of industries such as textiles and construction.

Four videos claiming horrific attacks on Bihari migrants began circulating on March 1. The Tamil Nadu government recognised that this could spiral out of control and reached out to migrants while also taking action against those spreading the rumours.

One such video was investigated and found to be fabricated by a Jharkhand native and his friends in order to incite unrest among the migrant workforce.

One manoj Yadav of Jharkhand and his friends, who are migrant workers residing at maraimalai Nagar area, created a video as if they are beaten up by Tamil people, and facing lot of problems in their work place (1/3)

— Tamil Nadu Police (@tnpoliceoffl) March 7, 2023

TN, Bihar police act

Both states' police departments have taken action.

Tamil Nadu's top cop, Babu, told reporters that the fake videos were posted by'someone in Bihar;' one was of a fight between two groups of migrants, and the other was between locals in Coimbatore.

Jitendra Singh Gangawar, Additional Director General of Bihar Police, stated that the death of a migrant worker was a suicide disguised as a murder.

This week, Bihar Police arrested one person and filed cases against others for spreading false information, while Tamil Nadu Police red-flagged a video distributed by a Bihar 'journalist' who also attacked Nitish Kumar for lying to his state's people and then tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

According to a senior state official, police in Tamil Nadu have filed 12 FIRs against individuals and institutions, including the Bharatiya Janata Party.

A case has been filed against the BJP's state chief, K Annamalai, as well as the party's Twitter handle. Another was filed against an Uttar Pradesh BJP leader, Prashant Umrao, who was granted pre-arrest bail by the Delhi High Court on Tuesday.

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