Bengaluru: Close on the heels of several journalists being arrested for allegedly spreading false news last month, the Bengaluru Police have filed a first information report (FIR) against Vishweshwar Bhat, editor of Kannada daily Vishwavani, for publishing alleged derogatory remarks against K Nikhil, son of chief minister HD Kumaraswamy.

The FIR has been registered based on a complaint filed by Pradeep Kumar SP, general secretary of the Janata Dal (Secular) Legal Cell with the Srirampura Police on Sunday (May 27).

The complaint said the particular news item that appeared in Vishwavani on an alleged heated conversation between Nikhil, who recently lost in Mandya Lok Sabha constituency, and his grandfather and JD(S) party supremo HD Deve Gowda, was meant to tarnish the political career of Nikhil and to extract money.

No such incident as reported had taken place, and the whole news item was a figment of imagination, the complaint alleged.

Reacting to the complaint, the BJP was indeed circumspect.

“If the editor of any publication publishes any news item, he would have proof for it. The proof will be given as and when sought,” said Shreenath Sheshadri, a BJP spokesperson.

Last month, as many as five journalists were arrested on charges of spreading fake news.

It is pertinent to note that there were reports floating around that the HDK government is mulling introducing a law to curb the media in its alleged efforts to publish information without verifiable evidence. However, the veracity of the news reports has not been ascertained.