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Karnataka: BJP leader faces FIR over Lulu Mall-Pakistan flag controversy

Karnataka: BJP leader faces FIR over Lulu Mall-Pakistan flag controversy

An FIR has been lodged against a BJP leader in Karnataka over controversial remarks made regarding the Lulu Mall-Pakistan flag issue. The police are currently investigating the matter.

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Karnataka: BJP leader faces FIR over Lulu Mall-Pakistan flag controversy Karnataka: BJP leader faces FIR over Lulu Mall-Pakistan flag controversy

A firestorm of controversy erupted in the social media sphere when a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Shakunthala Nataraj, found herself at the center of a public outcry following the sharing of an allegedly distorted image of Kochi's Lulu Mall. The image claimed that the mall displayed a larger Pakistan flag compared to the flags of other nations, including India. However, the incident took a bewildering turn when it was revealed that the misleading photo was taken at Kerala's Lulu Mall, not in Bengaluru.

The Karnataka Police promptly filed a First Information Report (FIR) against Shakunthala Nataraj for disseminating the contentious image. The BJP leader, in her social media post, had also tagged Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, erroneously suggesting that this incident occurred in a Bengaluru Lulu Mall.

The image showing a conspicuously larger Pakistan flag garnered significant attention on social media, quickly fueling outrage. Fact-checking reports, however, debunked the claim, stating that all flags at Lulu Mall were of uniform size. The deceptive illusion of a larger Pakistan flag was attributed to the angle from which the photograph was taken.

The controversy spiraled even further when Athira Nampiathiri, the marketing manager of Lulu Mall, was forced to resign in the wake of the outrage. Nampiathiri, in a statement on her LinkedIn profile, expressed her dismay, asserting that she had lost her job due to "baseless falsehoods and social media sensationalism."

In her post, Nampiathiri wrote, "What transpired as a simple gesture of support for sportsmanship, using flags as decor, morphed into a nightmarish distortion that none of us could have fathomed. We are staunch, proud Indians, deeply committed to our companies with unparalleled devotion. However, the reckless chatter and unverified reports swirling on social media carry the potential to devastate one's integrity and livelihood."

Edited By: Bikash Chetry
Published On: Oct 14, 2023