‘False news’: Union minister KJ Alphons on being trolled for ‘selfie’ with soldier’s coffin

Days after Union Minister KJ Alphons’ ‘selfie’ at a Pulwama martyr’s funeral in Kerala’s Wayanad went viral, the Tourism Minister on Monday issued a clarification, saying someone took his photograph and posted online as his selfie.

In a letter written to Kerala’s Director General of Police (DGP), the Union Minister said that he was attending the last rites of Vasantha Kumar at Wynad on February 16.

“I attended the last ceremonial rites of Vasantha Kumar, who sacrificed his life for the nation, on February 16 at Wayanad. Some person had taken my photographs standing near the coffin. My media secretary had put the same on Facebook,” Alphons said.

“Alleging that the photo was a selfie taken by me, some miscreants had spread false news against me on social media. The act of those miscreants reduced my reputation in the public, which is an offence punishable under the provisions of IPC,” he added,

Saying that it was “uncharitable”, “unbecoming and illegal” to spread false news regarding a sensitive issue involving a CRPF soldier who laid down his life for the nation, Alphons said appropriate action should be taken against the culprits under the law.

“It’s uncharitable, unbecoming and illegal to spread false news when I, representing the nation as a Union Minister, was paying homage to a jawan who laid down his life for the nation. Kindly take appropriate action against culprits and bring them before the law,” he urged.

A photo of Alphons standing next to the coffin of a CRPF soldier who was killed in the Pulwama terror attack had gone viral, with many condemning the minister for choosing to click a selfie at the funeral of a jawan.

Wayanad-based Vasantha Kumar was among the 40 CRPF personnel who were killed in Awantipora in an attack orchestrated by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

The convoy of 78 buses, in which around 2500 CRPF personnel were travelling from Jammu to Srinagar, came under attack around 3.15 pm at Ladhu Modi Lethpora on February 14.

The suicide attack on the  convoy carrying troopers towards Srinagar had blown up a bus when an explosive-packed SUV rammed into the paramilitary vehicle. It was the worst-ever attack in Jammu and Kashmir since militancy erupted in the state in1989.

(With inputs from agrncies)