Probe Ordered Into Video Clip Seen As Attempt To Polarise Gujarat Polls

Govind Parmar has told the poll panel that the 75-second clip appears to promote hatred against Muslims and should be banned.

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Probe Ordered Into Video Clip Seen As Attempt To Polarise Gujarat Polls

The 75-second clip on polarizing political campaigning had been widely circulated on social media

Ahmedabad: 

Highlights

  1. Activist says 75-second ad appears to promote hatred against Muslims
  2. Video targets Congress but does not refer directly to it or BJP
  3. Election body orders probe, says video seems professionally produced
A human rights activist has complained to the Election Commission about a video circulating on social media platforms that is seen as an attempt to polarize the political campaign in Gujarat ahead of next month's elections. 

Govind Parmar has told the poll panel that the 75-second clip appears to promote hatred against Muslims and should be banned. 

The state's chief electoral officer BB Swain has ordered a police probe to ascertain the origin of the video. Mr Parmar told NDTV that this shouldn't be difficult since the video seemed to have been professionally produced. You just need to trace the actors in the video, he said. 

Activists say the video, which ends with the message "your vote, your security" seems to play on the fears and distrust between communities. It starts with the message: "This is what can happen post 7 pm in Gujarat''. A young girl is shown walking hurriedly on a public road with a sound similar to azzan, or the Islamic call to worship, heard in the background. She reaches home to the relief of her worried parents. Her mother looks at the camera and says, "Surprised that this is Gujarat?" The father adds: "This was Gujarat 22 years ago. And this can happen again if they return." "But don't worry, no one will come because here it's Modi" says the daughter. 

The source of the video advertisement is not known. It doesn't directly refer to the BJP or Congress. But the BJP has been in power for 22 straight years in the state. The Congress was last in power in the state in 1995 but it later supported Shankarsinh Vaghela as Chief Minister after he broke away from the BJP and formed the Rashtriya Janata Party. 

Gujarat's Chief Electoral Officer BB Swain said he had received the complaint and ordered an inquiry by the Cyber Crime Cell of Ahmedabad.

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