Anti-Muslim cartoon by BJP remains online for over 72 hours despite EC filing FIR

Screengrabs from the cartoon posted by BJP Karnataka.

An anti-Muslim cartoon posted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party, BJP, remained online throughout the final leg of polling to the Lok Sabha in Karnataka.

The post that went live on the social media handles of BJP Karnataka around 5.30 pm on Saturday had not been taken down till 7 pm on Tuesday when the final leg of polling in the southern state was held. Parliament elections in Karnataka were split into two phases; the first phase was held on April 26.

The objectionable post has gained over 9.3 million views on X, also called Twitter, despite the Election Commission filing an FIR against it and urging the social media platform to take it down. In a letter to the nodal officer of 'X', the EC took exception to the non-compliance of the directive of the Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer to the social media platform for taking down the video.

The panel said the animated video shared by the Karnataka unit of the BJP on its social media handle was violative of the extant legal framework.

The EC said the Chief Electoral Officer of Karnataka registered an FIR in this connection and wrote to 'X' on May 5 to take down the objectionable post as per the provisions of the Information Technology Act and the IT (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021.

"However, the post has not been taken down yet. Therefore, 'X' is directed to take down the post immediately," the EC said.

The Karnataka Congress had filed a complaint with the Chief Electoral Officer of the state, accusing the BJP of promoting enmity and hatred between the Muslim and the SC/ST communities.
(With PTI inputs)

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