Soon after the Bengaluru police arrested Mahesh Hegde, the founder of Postcard News, messages were circulated on BJP WhatsApp Groups appealing to trend #ReleaseMaheshHegde. Mahesh Hegde was arrested on charges of allegedly promoting communal disharmony in a bid to attempt in blemishing the ruling Congress government in Karnataka.
Alt News founder, Pratik Sinha, tweeted the screenshot of the appeal to create trend #ReleaseMaheshHegde on twitter.
Also, BJP leaders condemned the arrest and demanded his release. Minister of State for Skill Development Anantkumar Hegde took to Twitter, "Shame on the state government led by Siddaramaiah, which is behaving in dictatorial terms in arresting Mahesh Vikram Hegde. Ensure to follow the true democratic spirit in fighting us rather than doing a coward act. #ReleaseMaheshHegde,"(sic).
The former minister, CT Ravi, suspected that Mahesh Hegde was might have been arrested for raising funds Hindu schools run by RSS leader Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat. "Wondering if Nationalist @mvmeet is arrested because he ran a successful campaign to raise funds for the children of two Hindu schools run by @RSSorg Leader Sri @KalladkaBhat that were denied funds by Anti-Hindu Congress Government. #ISupportMaheshHegde #ReleaseMaheshHegde"
Wondering if Nationalist @mvmeet is arrested because he ran a successful campaign to raise funds for the children of two Hindu schools run by @RSSorg Leader Sri @KalladkaBhat that were denied funds by Anti-Hindu CONgress Government.#ISupportMaheshHegde #ReleaseMaheshHegde— C.T.Ravi (@CTRavi_BJP) March 29, 2018
BJP Yuva Morch leader, Tejasvi Surya, said, "Appeared and argued on behalf of Mahesh Hegde. Police sought 14 days custody. Judge rejected and gave one-day judicial custody. He will be produced b4 court on Saturday and hopefully will #ReleaseMaheshHegde." 3rd rate political vendetta of Siddaramaiah Govt. We'll fight till end!"
Appeared & argued on behalf of Mahesh Hegde. Police sought 14 days custody. Judge rejected & gave one day judicial custody. He will be produced b4 court on Saturday & hopefully will #ReleaseMaheshHegde.— Tejasvi Surya (@tejasvi_surya) March 29, 2018
3rd rate political vendetta of Siddaramaiah Govt.
We'll fight till end!
There are two cases against Hegde. One was registered at the Sanjayanagar police station last year, while the other was filed on March 21 with the Cyber Crime Police station. The allegation is that he had posted a fake news on the Twitter account of Postcard.news on March 18 while using a photo of a Jain Muni. He had said, "Very sad news. In Karnataka Jain Muni attacked by Muslim youth... No one is safe in Siddaramaiah's Karnataka".