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Amit Malviya tells ThePrint original visuals from the state were too gory to publish. Says it is a norm to use images for representational purposes.

With some BJP leaders accused of posting on social media fake photos and videos of communal violence in West Bengal, the party’s national IT department head said on Wednesday that the visuals were used only for representational purposes as the originals from the state were too gory to publish.

The comments by Amit Malviya came hours after West Bengal police arrested Tarun Sengupta, the BJP’s IT cell secretary from Asansol, in connection with such fake visuals. Earlier, Kolkata police had registered two cases against Delhi BJP leader Nupur Sharma for posting a picture of the 2002 Gujarat on social media with the hashtag #SaveBengal.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has accused the BJP of circulating fake visuals on social media that are leading to communal violence in the state.

While the visuals have triggered a social media outrage, Malviya justified the use of the “representational pictures” by Nupur.

“Nowhere in the flyer is it mentioned that the pictures are from Basirhat riots or for that matter of any other riots that have happened under TMC rule,” Malviya told ThePrint in an interview. “Organisers have confirmed that specific image was only for representational purpose.”

Asked about possibility of the hashtag #SaveBengal accompanying the picture misleading people, Malviya said, “It is a norm to use images for representational purposes unless a picture conveys a meaning drastically different from the text of the matter.”

“TMC apologists will do well to focus on the never-ending cycle of violence in Bengal instead of a picture,” Malviya said, referring to the outrage over the controversial visuals.

Calling West Bengal a police state under Mamata Banerjee’s rule, Malviya criticised the arrest of Sengupta.

“BJP and people of Bengal will stand up against the tyranny. Fear has gripped the city where citizens can be jailed for making cartoons and students are called Maoists for asking questions. She is using state machinery in the most pervert manner.”

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