A local journalist was booked for spreading rumours through instant messaging applications and social media that children were being trafficked from the city by a group of sadhus ahead of Simhastha-2016, one of the biggest religious gatherings in the world, the police said on Friday.
According to police, the accused, Syed Fazil Ali, was allegedly spreading rumours that around 40,000 children were to be made 'Naga Baba' during the Simhastha, to be held in Ujjain. Ali, through the messages, said that for this about 14,000 people, under the leadership of a group of sadhus, were working across Madhya Pradesh and stealing children.
In his message, he also requested the people, especially minority communities, to save their children by sharing his message, police said.
A case was registered against Ali at Hanumanganj police station, under Sections 153 A and 505 (B) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 67 of the IT Act.
Town inspector, Hanumanganj police station, Bhupendra Singh said the message being circulated by Ali could affect the communal harmony in the city and across the state. "We are yet to establish that how many people were involved in spreading the rumours along with Faizal Ali," he said.
Ali works with a local weekly newspaper, unconfirmed sources have said. "He claims to be working as a journalist for a newspaper, but we are yet to verify his journalistic identity. I have approached several people related to media houses and sought information about him, but nobody has confirmed his identity yet," said Singh.