The Bihar Police made one arrest and booked three others – two Twitter users and one YouTube channel – for spreading misinformation in connection with the misleading videos of alleged attacks on migrant workers in Tamil Nadu.
The Tamil Nadu police has registered a case against right-wing propaganda website OpIndia's CEO Rahul Roushan and editor Nupur Sharma. It also booked the state's Bharatiya Janata Party chief K Annamalai for sharing "false messages."
In a series of tweets, The Bihar Police mentioned the names of four people, identifying the one arrested as Aman Kumar from Bihar's Jamui.
Kumar's device contained many misleading videos of attacks and killings, the Bihar Police said in a tweet.
What happened?: In the past week, several social media users have shared videos of assault and killings as ones from Tamil Nadu claiming to show attacks on migrant workers from Bihar.
This has led to panic among migrant workers in Tamil Nadu. According to a report in NDTV, many workers stayed off work which impacted industries in the state.
Reports of migrant workers from Bihar returning to their home state have emerged. However, they are reportedly going home for the Holi and will return as "there are no jobs back home," it added.
The Quint's WebQoof team has also debunked several such videos.
To assuage the fears, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin took to Twitter and mentioned that migrant workers are safe in Tamil Nadu.
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav also addressed the issue in the State Assembly, challenging the Opposition to approach the Centre if they were not satisfied with how the two states were handling the issue of the alleged attacks on migrant labourers.
Yadav accused the BJP of driving a wedge between two states for political gains, days after demanding Nitish Kumar's resignation in the Assembly.
The Opposition had also criticised Yadav for attending the Tamil Nadu chief minister's birthday celebrations at a time when his people were reportedly being attacked.
Tamil Nadu's Director General of Police (DGP) C Sylendra Babu issued a video statement which addressed two specific videos about clashes, mentioning that people were "spreading false rumours" and that there was "peace and harmony" in Tamil Nadu.
How did this start?: A video of a man selectively abusing and assaulting Hindi-speaking migrant labourers on a train went viral on social media, accusing them "of depriving the locals of job opportunities," reported The Indian Express.
The Government Railway Police (GRP) traced the accused, identified as 38-year-old P Magimaidas from Villupuram, Tamil Nadu.
The report added that Magimaidas acted in this manner after a migrant worker stepped on his feet in a crowded train.
He was subsequently charged with sections 153(A) (promoting enmity), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 294(B) (using abusive language) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
This incident sparked rumours of migrant workers – especially from Bihar – being in danger in Tamil Nadu.
What action has been taken so far?: The Tamil Nadu Police charged Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Prashant Umrao, an editor of Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar and Patna-based journalist Mohammed Tanvir for "spreading enmity," reported NDTV.
However, the Delhi High Court granted Umrao a ten day transit anticipatory bail in this case, according to LiveLaw.
The Bihar Police found that "30 posts and videos" were broadcast to "deliberately" created an atmosphere of fear among people by "posting misleading, rumour generating and inciting photos/videos/text messages etc. in a planned manner, due to which law and order problems are likely to arise."
The police mentioned that those found sharing these posts and videos will be charged with different sections of the IPC related to spreading enmity, provocation, circulation of content containing alarming news or rumours, criminal conspiracy, and fraud, among others.
The people will also be charged under relevant sections of the IT Act.
Bihar's Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Jitendra Singh Gangwar told the media that a 10-member team is probing the matter, and that all those posting and sharing this content "will be arrested,” reported The New Indian Express.
Speaking to the media, Gangwar said that Bihar Police had reached out the YouTube, Facebook and Gmail with "preservation notices", requesting them to save the links to these videos for about three months, which could "help the police get to the bottom of the whole conspiracy."
You can watch Gangwar's statement to the media, which starts 03:35 minutes into the video here.