YouTuber Karthik Gopinath arrested for raising money for temples

According to reports, YouTuber and social media influencer Karthik Gopinath was arrested by Tamil Nadu police on Monday morning. Karthik is a very popular Tamil YouTuber who runs the Ilaya Bharatham channel. He identifies as a nationalist and is well known for his videos criticizing the DMK government in Tamil Nadu.

Karthik Gopinath would have been detained for Fundraising for Siruvachur Temples, Perambalur District. According to sources, Karthik Gopinath raised funds for renovation of several desecrated temples in Siruvachur using fundraising app Milaap. Hooligans recently degraded several temple idols administered by the Department of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments of Tamil Nadu (HR&CE).

However, there has been some debate about raising funds for a temple under the control of HR&CE management by the YouTuber. Karthik was arrested on the morning of May 30 after a complaint was filed with the police.

K. Annamalai, chairman of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Tamil Nadu, criticized the arrest, saying that the DMK administration in Tamil Nadu uses coercive practices to suppress opponents.

Annamalai wrote: “…the arrest of Shri. @karthikgnath on completely made up charges is condemnable and shows the level to which this government will go to silence an uncomfortable voice.

This is not the first time that Tamil Nadu police have targeted people who criticize the ruling DMK. Another YouTuber Maridhas has already been arrested by Tamil Nadu cops for making a video regarding Tablighi Jamaat. Maridhas was arrested after a YouTube video he posted linked Tablighi Jamaat members to the spread of coronavirus. An FIR was also filed against him in June 2020 after he called late DMK supremo M Karunanidhi in a video the ‘father of corruption’.

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