Ahead of Article 370 verdict, J&K cops crack down on social media ‘misuse’ | Latest News India


Ahead of the Supreme Court (SC) verdict on Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir Police has launched a campaign against the alleged misuse of social media and booked five people in the past two days for either uploading ‘hateful content’ or spreading rumours.

Jammu: A J&K Police personnel stands guard after a 'blast-like' sound was heard near Sidhra bridge, in Jammu, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022. (PTI Photo/Used only for representation)
Jammu: A J&K Police personnel stands guard after a ‘blast-like’ sound was heard near Sidhra bridge, in Jammu, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022. (PTI Photo/Used only for representation)

Also Read | SC to deliver verdict on pleas challenging abrogation of Article 370 on Dec 11

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While police took action against an alleged rumour-monger in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, legal action was taken against two persons each in central Kashmir’s Budgam and Ganderbal districts.

A police spokesperson said that Baramulla police took action against ‘rumour-mongering’ and booked an alleged ‘provocateur’.

“Baramulla police has initiated legal proceedings against an individual namely Bilal Ahmad Wani, son of Ali Mohd Wani resident of Wani Mohalla Baliharan Pattan, Baramulla district. This action is in response to his uploading of hateful videos on social media platforms, containing inflammatory and seditious statements,” the spokesperson said.

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Similarly, the Budgam police took action against two persons for spreading rumours, the police said in a post on X (formerly Twitter)

In Ganderbal district, the police on Sunday initiated legal action against two individuals for uploading and sharing hateful content on social media platforms.

“Waseem Mushtaq Malik, resident of Safapora and Aadil Ahmed Rather, resident of Nunner, Ganderbal, were found involved in spreading hateful content on social media. Under the recently issued order of the district magistrate, legal action has been initiated against both of them,” a police statement said.

The police appealed to people to remain vigilant about the misuse of social media. “Any attempt to vitiate the environment and create issues of public order will be seen seriously and legal action will be taken,” the statement said.

The actions against social media users come after district magistrates and police cautioned against the sharing of militant propaganda or news without verification in the past two weeks, ahead of the verdict of a constitutional bench of SC which will deliver its judgement on Monday on petitions that have challenged the August 2019 abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of J&K state into two union territories.

On Thursday, senior superintendent of police (SSP) Baramulla Amod Ashok Nagpure said a ban has been put in place on sharing any post regarding any terrorist organisation on social media or groups, promoting terrorism or communal disharmony.

“Under UAPA and the Indian Penal Code, these things are now illegal and whosoever uses his/her digital devices to share messages of terrorists’ organisations and separatists on social media is committing a crime. We are ready to take action against such persons and social media handles,” he said.

Additional director general of police (ADGP, law and order) Vijay Kumar on Friday chaired a joint meeting of all the district magistrates and SSsP of Kashmir division where the officers shared the field-generated inputs with respect to all the “expectedly emerging situations in view of upcoming events.”

“All the district heads were stressed to keep an eye on the situation and take preventive and punitive actions under the law against those who indulge in mischief, misinformation and misuse of social media. And it was stressed that miscreants and mischievous elements shouldn’t be allowed to vitiate the peace and harmony,” the police spokesman said.

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