The Facebook page of the Indian media website, Postcard News was removed on Sunday for spreading fake news and causing serious consequences. The founder Mahesh Vikram Hegde was arrested by Bengaluru Crime branch in March after a case was registered against him to the Cyber Crime Police Station.
His Postcard News shared a fake news about a Jain Monk being beaten up by Muslims. After the arrest, the owner of this mega fake news factory was defended by Bharatiya Janata Party (B. J. P.) leaders including the Union Minister, Ananth Kumar Hegde. He began a #ReleaseMaheshHegde campaign on social media.
The website, Facebook page as well as the twitter handle of Mahesh Vikram Hegde showcases multiple fake news instigating religious hatred among Hindus, Muslims and Christians. His profile also had fake BBC studies which were never conducted nor published.
On June 21, he uploaded an old photo Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) leader Yasin Malik’s arrest on Twitter. The news was fake as Malik was in detention for over a year. He used an old 2017 photo as a fresh one to garner anti-muslim and anti-separatist sentiments. His propaganda news site also claimed that Tamil Nadu Christians were trying to stake their claim in Hindu temple properties. This was a false news, according to the Tamil Nadu police.
On July 2, he also claimed on Twitter that 96 per cent of rape accused are Muslims, while 96 per cent of the victims are Hindus, according to 2016-18 data. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) rejected this data as false and informed they do not publish criminal records on religious markers.