• Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Diaspora

Indian-American poll candidate fakes racist comments to himself online, arrested

According to authorities, Taral Patel allegedly spent several months sending a series of racist and derogatory messages to himself, posing as a supporter of Fort Bend Precinct 3 commissioner Republican commissioner Andy Meyers.

Taral Patel (Picture: Taral Patel X account/@TaralVPatel)

By: Shubham Ghosh

A POLITICAL candidate in Texas, US, has been arrested for allegedly sending fake hate messages to himself online.

Fox News reported Taral Patel, the Democratic candidate for Fort Bend Precinct 3 commissioner, was held by Texas Rangers on charges of Online Impersonation and Misrepresentation of Identity.

According to authorities, Patel allegedly spent several months sending a series of racist and derogatory messages to himself, posing as a supporter of the incumbent Republican commissioner, Andy Meyers, the report added.

As per Patel’s arrest record, the investigation began in October last year when Meyers asked authorities to identify the source of a vitriolic comment attributed to Patel.

Read: Indian-American lawmakers warn against ‘lecturing’ India on human rights

Previously, Patel had shared a compilation of hateful remarks supposedly sent by supporters of Meyers, suggesting the messages reflected a “profound and misguided apprehension” within the Grand Old Party.

Read: Indian-American lawmaker says attacks on Hindus in US have seen substantial rise

“As your Democratic candidate for County Commissioner, I am always open to criticism of my policy positions and stances on issues,” Patel said in the September 2023 post on Facebook.

“However, when my Republican opponents supporters’ decide to hurl racist, anti-immigrant, Hinduphobic, or otherwise disgusting insults at my family, faith community, colleagues, and me – that crosses a line.”

Law enforcement stated that Patel utilized the image of an actual Fort Bend resident as his profile image without the latter’s approval.

Bobby Eberle, chairman of the Fort Bend County Republican Party, issued a statement in response to Patel’s arrest, describing the situation as “deeply concerning”, the Fox News report added.

“Whether Republican or Democrat, such tactics should be unequivocally condemned by all who value integrity and accountability in politics,” Eberle said.

“This is not a partisan issue, and the good people of Fort Bend County should be able to trust that when allegations are made, they are sincere.”

Eberle also said that the residents of Fort Bend County deserve someone better than who creates fake accounts and publicises made-up racist attacks for political gains, as their leader.

Patel has served in various key positions, including as a member of the White House Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Committee besides being appointed by president Joe Biden to serve as a liaison for the White House in his administration, according to his website.

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