Kerala Tourism Minister K J Alphonse who faced flak for his “selfie” at a CRPF jawan’s funeral Sunday called the picture “false news”. In a letter to the Kerala DGP, the Union Minister complained about miscreants clicking his picture near the coffin and then circulating it as a “selfie” on social media platforms.
Alphonse was attending the last rites of CRPF constable V V Vasantha Kumar at Wynad on February 16. In the picture, the minister can be seen near the coffin of the slain CRPF officer. After the photo went viral, many slammed the minister for his “insensitivity.”
In a letter to the DGP, the minister wrote, “Some person had taken my photographs standing near the coffin. My media secretary had put the same on my Facebook. Alleging that the photograph was a selfie taken by me, some miscreants had spread false news against me in the social media.”
Adding that the picture had “reduced his reputation in public,” the minister called for legal action. “The act of those miscreants reduced my reputation in the public, which is an offence punishable under the provisions of Indian Penal Code.” Alleging that it was both “uncharitable”, “unbecoming and illegal” to spread false news regarding a sensitive issue involving a jawan who laid down his life for the nation, the minister said the culprits should be booked.
“Unless these vicious criminal vultures are brought to book the integrity of the country and society will be at stake,” he wrote, requesting appropriate action against the culprits.
Vasantha Kumar was among the 40 who were killed after a car suicide bomber rammed into the CRPF bus in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir. At the airport, K J Alphonse and Kerala ministers E P Jayarajan, Kadannappally Ramachandran, and A K Saseendran led the queue of dignitaries who paid last respects to the constable.