Why Bihar Bandh is called against the arrest of Manish Kashyap?

Arrest of Manish Kashyap for spreading malicious misinformation triggers protests and a state-wide bandh is called for March 23rd.

Manish Kashyap spread misinformation online that Bihari migrant workers are attacked and killed in Tamil Nadu. He shared a scripted video to amplify the false narrative that Bihari workers are attacked in Tamil Nadu, using actors playing their parts. He was arrested for his actions and is being investigated by the Bihar Police and Tamil Nadu police too is expected to take him into custody. But, his supporters and some political parties have called for a state-wide bandh in Bihar today (March 23, 2023).

Manish Kashyap in police custody.

Apart from the fake video shared by Manish Kashyap, there were widespread misinformation campaigns that were organised and systematically carried out to paint a picture that Biharis are attacked in Tamil Nadu. The BJP Bihar too played its part along with its ecosystem to spread the misinformation creating unrest in both the states. This reportedly led to an exodus of migrant workers from Bihar and other northern states moving out of Tamil Nadu. Some business owners and their unions issued a public statement regarding attrition among their workers who are migrants from Bihar and North India due to fear of facing such violence.

Manish Kashyap was booked for spreading misinformation in the migrant workers issue. Subsequently, he was arrested on 18th March after his surrender. Before his surrender, reports said that his property being attached by the Economic Offences Unit (EOU) of the Bihar Police and this has been touted as the reason for the surrender.

Following his arrest several BJP members, supporters and members from other right-wing organizations have come out in support of him. In fact, the support poured in ever since it was reported that he was booked for spreading misinformation and could be arrested. He went in to hiding for over a week. Many of those who supported Manish Kashyap have themselves spread misinformation and YouTurn had fact-checked them. Some of those who spread misinformation and now have come out to support Manish Kashyap include Sadhvi Prachi, Arun Yadav, Ashutosh J Dubey, Kapil Mishra etc.

It has also been reported that Manish Kashyap is not even his real name. His real name is  reported to be Tripurari Kumar Tiwari under which he even contested for the post of MLA an Bihar Assembly election in 2020 from the Chanpatia constituency. Some news reports state that Manish Kashyap was a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Manish Kashyap alias Tripurari Kumar Tiwari, who calls himself “Son of Bihar” in his social media accounts, has several cases against him which includes assaulting a businessman from Kashmir and threatening him to go back to Kashmir after the Pulwama attack. There are many other cases against him which includes vandalism, endangering police officer etc. He runs a YouTube channel ‘Sach Tak News’ which has around 6.5 million subscribers which was used for the false narrative that Biharis are killed/attacked all over Tamil Nadu.

Below is a collection of several supporters from the BJP, ABVP and other right-wing organisations post his arrest.

Links for these tweets can be accessed here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here here, here, here, here and here.

Similarly, he had a massive outpour of support from the same people and/or from the right-wing earlier too, when the Bihar Police filed a case against him.

Links can be seen here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Questions are raised about why only Manish Kashyap is arrested while many other journalists, news outlets which shared news items that had the same essence face no arrest despite cases being filed against some. Moreover, BJP and several other individuals and organisations too had indulged in the same false narrative as Manish Kashyap.

After the arrest, the issue is being twisted and turned into various spheres. The most obvious one is, the arrest is dubbed as cracking down of journalists critical of the Bihar Government. In addition to that, journalist Shubham Sharma claims that the arrest has taken place due to Manish Kashyap’s (Tripurari Tiwari) Brahmin identity.

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Apart from supporting Manish Kashyap due to his Brahmin identity, the support from the right-wing continues to pour in along with a description that he is a Nationalist and a Sanatani.

Archive Link

https://twitter.com/YogiDevnath2/status/1638770567041159168

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https://twitter.com/irajendrashukla/status/1638774584001327109

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A subtle under-current is being created by the right-wing organisations by making the arrest of Manish Kashyap as Anti-Hindu, Anti-Brahmin, Anti-Sanatan Dharma and of course Anti-Bihar. A simple issue of spreading misinformation which causes unrest in the society and the subsequent action by the Government is being milked to extreme ends for political reasons, resulting in a state-wide bandh. There is a scope for the narrative to continue if Tamil Nadu Police take custody of Manish Kashyap and take him to the state. If that ends up becoming a reality, that too would be milked again using the already set narrative of Biharis vs Tamil Nadu.

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Ramasamy Jayaprakash

Ramasamy works as a Sub-Editor at YouTurn and writes English articles, and makes videos for YouTurn's English YouTube channel.
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