Chennai YouTuber nabbed for swindling money, BJP leaders oppose arrest
A Chennai-based YouTuber and social media influencer Karthik Gopinath was arrested by the Tamil Nadu Police on Monday. It is alleged that he raised funds through his YouTube channel on the pretext of renovating the Arulmigu Mathura Kaliamman Temple in Perambalur district, Tamil Nadu. However, instead of renovating the temple, he reportedly used the funds for his personal use.
- This is not the first time a Tamil Nadu youth has been arrested for getting involved in shady business via YouTube.
- Earlier last year, one Madan Kumar was nabbed for live-streaming online games with vulgar voice-over. He also had obscene conversations with women and streamed them online.
- So, this increase in the number of YouTubers participating in illegal activities is a rising concern.
The incident came to light after the executive officer of the Mathura Kaliamman Temple T Aravindhan filed a complaint with the Central Crime Branch (CCB), Avadi, Chennai. Although Gopinath asked for donations, the complaint said he apparently never asked the state government's Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments Department's (HR&CE Department) permission. Notably, this department is responsible for managing the said temple.
The police statement read: "[Gopinath] had opened a YouTube channel [called] Ilaya Bharatham and sought public donation through a fundraising website under the pretext of renovating the statues" at the temple. "However, he organized this without getting any permission from the HR&CE Department." Gopinath has been booked under Sections 406 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code and 66(D) of the Information Technology Act.
State President of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) K Annamalai commented on the matter. He alleged that the arrest was a tactical move on the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government's part. He tweeted, "As usual @arivalayam [DMK] is resorting to intimidatory tactics when under pressure." He said the arrest "shows the level to which this [government] will go to silence an uncomfortable voice."
When South Chennai Addl Commisioner Shri.Kannan IPS was transferred kept in reserve list— K.Annamalai (@annamalai_k) May 30, 2022
-it was ‘allegedly’ because of his closeness to me in facilitating passes
When nationalist you tuber @karthikgnath is arrested today, it is because he has taken few pictures with me
BJP leader Subramaniam Swamy also spoke up. He said the police were "harassing our VHS [Virat Hindustan Sangam] youngster" and hence he'll file a case against them. Speaking to a portal later, he said, "There's an atmosphere of terror under DMK rule in Tamil Nadu."