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Fact Check: Netizens Calling for Arrest of Dileepan Mahendran, Who Burnt the National Flag, are 6 Years Late

The News Minute


On the eve of India’s 75th Independence day, and as part of “Azadi ka Amrit Mahatsov”, the Government of India has launched the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign.

Meanwhile, several posts on social media are claiming that a young man burnt the national flag and should be arrested for the same. However, these posts appear to be a little late.

Image 2 5

Credits: India Today

India Today’s AFWA( Anti Fake News war Room) found that police action was swift, but more than six years ago. The incident took place in Tamil Nadu in 2016, and the man in question was immediately arrested.

According to a February 2016 report, Dileepan Mahendran, a resident of Tamil Nadu’s Nagapattinam, had uploaded photos of him setting fire to the Indian flag on January 29 that year. He was arrested on February 1, 2016, by the Pulianthope police in Chennai.

He was booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act and the IT Act. A court then sent him to jail.

Also, Mahendran had participated in an event marking seven years since the death of the journalist K Muthukumar, who “self-immolated to protest India’s inaction during the genocide of Tamils that marked the end of the Sri Lankan civil war.” Following the event, Dileepan burnt the flag.

After the incident, his lawyer, Elangovan had told reporters that Dileepan is very passionate about social issues and that is why he did this. India Today also spoke to Mahendran who said that he went to jail even after the 2016 incident, but the police never raised the question of burning the national flag again. He also mentioned that he was subject to custodial violence when he was arrested in 2016.


The claim that a Tamil Nadu resident had burnt the national flag is correct, but 6 years old. He has been already punished for the same.

There is no double jeopardy in Indian law-i.e no person can be arrested for the same offence twice.

References: India Today, One India

Featured Image Source: The News Minute

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