In the past few days, several messages have been shared on social media alleging that Bihar migrant workers are being attacked in Tamil Nadu.

However, both the Bihar and Tamil Nadu governments have declared these as rumours and fake news.

Recently, a delegation of Bihar government visited Tamil Nadu and expressed satisfaction over the steps taken to ensure safety of the workers.

Earlier Tamil Nadu Police booked Uttar Pradesh BJP spokesperson and Goa Standing Counsel Prashant Umrao for spreading rumours on social media about the alleged “killing” of migrant workers from Bihar who work in Tamil Nadu.

Umrao has been booked under Sections 153 (provocation for rioting), 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischie) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

In his tweet, Umrao had shared a picture of Bihar Deputy Chief Minister (CM) Tejashwi Yadav with Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin stating that “12 migrant workers from Bihar were hung to death in Tamil Nadu for speaking in Hindi”.

He added that despite these attacks, Yadav attended Stalin’s birth celebrations.

In the same case, Police have also named Dainik Bhaskar editor and a Patna-based journalist Mohammad Tanvir.

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday granted transit anticipatory bail till March 20 to Umrao, in the case registered against him by the Tamil Nadu police over a tweet he made regarding alleged attacks on migrant workers in the southern state. 

While Umrao sought relief for 12 weeks, Justice Jasmeet Singh said that such a luxury cannot be allowed and granted him relief till March 20.

“How can I give you transit anticipatory bail for 12 weeks,” the Court asked.

“I am witch hunted like anything. Give me 6 weeks at least,” the counsel for Umrao pleaded .

“No chance. It can’t be such a luxury,” the Court made it clear.

“I am the only person against whom FIR has been registered in Tuticorin,” the counsel further submitted.

Senior Counsel Sanjay Hegde, appearing for Tamil Nadu government, said that Umrao is in the habit of making such unsubstantiated allegations and inflammatory tweets and later deleting it without even offering any clarification.

“He has a history of making tweets that incite violence. He is standing counsel for Goa. He is a man of some standing. Freedom of speech does not mean you light fire to a crowded theatre. He has a continual record of making such tweets and then deleting it without even a clarification,” Hegde said.

“I will only see that he gets a proper redressal. I will only ensure that he gets access to justice,” the single-judge replied.

The Court then granted Umrao transit bail till March 20 and also directed that him to share his phone number with the Tamil Nadu Police.

“I am of the view that he be given reasonable time. The applicant is granted transit anticipatory bail till March 20. The applicant should share his contact number with the counsel for Tamil Nadu,” the Court ordered.