PM Modi and Amit Shah react as Congress party members arrested over doctored video circulation

Shah took to X (formerly Twitter), posting his “original” and the edited “fake” speech, alleging – without providing evidence – that the main opposition Congress party was behind the video created to mislead the public.

As campaigning intensifies for India’s general elections, doctored videos involving top aides of Prime Minister Narendra Modi have triggered police investigations and the arrest of some workers from the rival Congress party. This election has been dubbed India’s first “AI election,” with Modi warning last week about the use of fake voices to create purported statements by leaders, calling it a conspiracy “to create tension in society.”

Indian police, already probing the spread of fake videos showing Bollywood actors criticizing Modi, are now investigating a doctored online clip that showed Home Minister Amit Shah saying the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will stop certain social guarantees for minorities, a sensitive issue for millions of voters.

Shah took to X (formerly Twitter), posting his “original” and the edited “fake” speech, alleging – without providing evidence – that the main opposition Congress party was behind the video created to mislead the public. He stated that “directions have been issued to the police to address this issue.”

Last week, Indian police arrested at least nine people, including six members of Congress’ social media teams, in the states of Assam, Gujarat, Telangana, and New Delhi for circulating the fake video, according to police statements.

Five of the Congress workers were released on bail, but the most high-profile arrest was made on Friday by the cybercrime unit of New Delhi police, who detained Arun Reddy, a Congress national social media coordinator, for sharing the video. Reddy has been sent into three-day custody, as Shah’s ministry directly controls the police in New Delhi.

The arrest has sparked protests from Congress workers, with many posting on X using the #ReleaseArunReddy tag. Congress lawmaker Manickam Tagore termed the arrest an example of “authoritarian misuse of power by the regime.”

As India’s election campaign heats up, the spread of doctored videos has become a contentious issue, with investigations underway and political tensions rising over the use of manipulated media to sway public opinion.