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Unverified claims on Goa Hindi row goes viral

Finding out a user with a similar name as the woman passenger on social media, X members of a political party in the State shared posts questioning the validity of her allegations.

Unverified claims on Goa Hindi row goes viral

Representative Image (Illustration: Varghese Kallada)

CHENNAI: After Chief Minister MK Stalin condemned the behaviour of CISF personnel at Goa airport imposing Hindi on a Tamil Nadu passenger, based on a DT Next report, several persons including leaders of State BJP have been spreading misinformation online by digging up old posts of a person writing in Hindi on X (formerly Twitter), with the same name as that of the passenger in the Goa airport.

State BJP treasurer, SR Sekhar and VP of Industrial Cell, Selva Kumar were among those who spread misinformation about the passenger after her TV interviews, ‘mistaking’ her for another person with the same name.

The passenger, Sharmilaa Rajasekaran, an engineer, confirmed to DT Next that she has never held an account on X.

“I’m not on X or Twitter. I learned from friends that another person is being trolled. It’s unfortunate. I did not expect things to blow up like this. I went through the official platform to register a grievance. But, after things blew up, a senior CISF personnel from Goa airport called me and apologised,” Sharmilaa told DT Next and reiterated that her issue was not with an individual official, but with the institution for not sensitising its staff and personnel on cultural diversity of the country and felt contended with the response.

The other woman too had explained in her social media account that she was not the person who travelled from Goa to Chennai on Tuesday.

When DT Next contacted Sekhar over the phone and explained the facts, he said that the post was going viral and hence he had posted.

“Thanks for bringing it to my notice. I will check on it,” Sekhar told DT Next.

Selva Kumar did not respond to phone call or message.

Apart from Chief Minister Stalin and Minister for Sports Udhayanidhi Stalin and several other leaders in the State including PMK founder Dr S Ramadoss, and AMMK founder TTV Dhinakaran had expressed their condemnations.

The incident happened at the Goa airport on Tuesday night. Sharmilaa was returning home after a family vacation in Goa when the CISF personnel at the security check-in at Dabolim Airport, Goa, asked her to learn Hindi when she couldn’t understand their instructions. When she told the CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) personnel that she did not know Hindi, the personnel had argued that Hindi was the national language and asked her to Google.

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