Two held over ‘rumours’ about politician’s health
POLICE arrested two people on charges of “inciting violence and spreading rumours”, an officer said, amid uncertainty about the health of a powerful and controversial south Indian politician.
The two have been accused of posting false news on social media websites about the condition of Jayaram Jayalalitha, chief minister of Tamil Nadu state, who has been in hospital since last month.
“The accused were arrested on October 10 for posting false news on Facebook. We are taking these acts seriously,” Senthil Kumar, head of the serious crimes branch in the state capital Chennai, said.
Forty-three similar cases have been filed against unknown persons and a hunt launched to arrest them, Mr Kumar said.
Ms Jayalalitha was admitted to hospital in Chennai on September 22, and tens of thousands of her supporters are anxiously awaiting news about her health.
Authorities have provided few updates on her condition, initially saying the 68-year-old leader was suffering from fever and dehydration. On October 3 the hospital said she was on respiratory support and a critical care expert was flown in from Britain.
Ms Jayalalitha, a former movie star, has a cult following in one of the country’s most prosperous states. She is serving as chief minister for the third time after winning elections this year. –