The Jammu and Kashmir Police have finally decided to clampdown on news pages created and circulated on social networking sites like Facebook "to stop rumour-mongering and illegal circulation of news" in sensitive and volatile the Kashmir Valley.
"In order to vitiate peaceful environment, some disgruntled elements are running a number of pages on the social networking sites on which news items are maliciously distorted to give a jaundiced slant to a particular incident," said police spokesman in Srinagar.
Sources said several news pages have been identified and the police are in the process to block the same.
Kashmir, which witnessed volatile times and street protests in the last four years, saw numerous news pages running on FB and many a time spreading inaccurate news items that went viral.
According to the cyber cell records, many simple crime incidents were turned into custodial killings sparking law and order problems. Last year, online intimidation of three teenage girls' rock band sparked major controversy, which saw them shelving plans to perform musical shows. The online threats to these girls were first published by a FB news page run by an 18-year-old boy from south Kashmir, who was later arrested by police.
The police record suggests that these news pages are run by minors or small-time businessmen who are not sensitive towards the reportage or its implications with no background or formal training in journalism.
The police confirmed to have detained one such youth from old city running news pages besides some anti-India pages on Saturday. "One youth was identified from the downtown area of Srinagar and was summoned. He was released after counselling," said a police officer.
The police said such acts of spreading news illegally were eroding the credibility of media. "We are soliciting the cooperation of media to identify such elements so that journalistic ethics and sanctity is upheld," said the spokesman.