This website which first published a post alleging that PM Narendra Modi‘s team could have possibly spent Rs 35 lakh on the shooting, editing, making and circulation of the International Yoga Day Fitness Challenge video has been bombed with thousands of vulgar, threatening and hate emails over the last two days. Such was the impact of the spamming that both the web-server and mail servers crashed 8-10 times on 2 and 3 July, after the post went viral.
Several attempts were made to hack into the web-server using DDoS methods and bring the site down. Other hackers tried to using automated password-guessing software to crack the passwords of the site and break into the main database.
Some of the emails threaten that IndiaScoops.com‘s editor and editorial team will meet with the same fate as journalist and thinker Gauri Lankesh who was murdered last year. The website has submitted printouts of the threatening and vulgar emails as well as the hacking attempt logs to the Mumbai police who have started looking into the matter.
The report which was published based on unconfirmed reports from the PMO, very clearly stated so in its content. However, the post went viral after it was shared on social media by several well-known politicians with a huge online following. Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on Monday evening took to Twitter to refute the claim made by IndiaScoops.com and said that no money was spent for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fitness video for the viral ‘Fitness Challenge’ on Twitter.
However, IndiaScoops.com in a rebuttal said it stood by its story, but never claimed in its post that the Rs 35 lakh figure was gospel truth, as it was not obtained through an RTI enquiry but was based on hearsay from an unverified source. “The figure could be incorrect and maybe could be much more,” the editor said in another post.
On the micro-blogging site, Rathore took a jibe at Congress leader Shashi Tharoor after he shared the IndiaScoops.com article alleging Rs 35 lakh was spent to shoot the video.
‘Not surprised Mr @ShashiTharoor, falsehoods is your substitute 4 facts. No money was spent for PM’s fitness video. It was recorded by PMO videographer. This article is based on ‘solid proof’ of hearsay. And I assure you sir, not a single ‘lamb’ was sacrificed for the video, let alone 35,’
To this Tharoor replied: “Delighted to hear no lambs were sacrificed. But the people of India have been fleeced nonetheless, by the Govt’s 20 crore expenditure of taxpayer money on publicity as a substitute for achievement.”
Earlier in the day, Tharoor had tweeted the post in his own trademark inimitable tongue-in-cheek style, claiming that the Centre spent Rs 20 crore on advertisements on International Yoga Day’20 crore rupees in ads for #YogaDay, 35 lambs for @PMOIndia’s fitness video! Disgraceful. This government is all about smoke and mirrors. Hype is their substitute for hope — the hopes they have destroyed,’ Tharoor tweeted.
The ‘Fitness Challenge’ was started by Rathore on Twitter as part of the ‘Hum Fit Toh India Fit’ campaign on May 22.While taking up star cricketer Virat Kohli’s ‘Fitness Challenge’, the Prime Minister on June 13 shared a video of him performing yoga on Twitter.