The UP police's efforts to prevent communal violence in view of the coming judicial verdict on the Babri Masjid have reached such a pitch that even an SMS can land one in trouble.
If a person sends an SMS supporting or opposing the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, his mobile number will be on the radar of the UP police.
On Thursday, Ghaziabad police nabbed a second-year Bachelor of Business Administration student of IMS College on charges of sending a "provocative" SMS to his colleagues.
Talking to HT on the phone, Ghaziabad Deputy Inspector General Raghubir Lal said the student, Vijay Sharma, had sent an "offensive" message urging co-students to eliminate certain ministers who he thought were opposed to the temple. The SMS was also sent to people living outside the college premises.
The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court will pronounce judgment on the Ayodhya title suit on September 24.
"The SMS can create enmity among members of both the majority and minority communities. We tracked down Sharma with the assistance of the electronic surveillance squad and took him into custody. An FIR was registered against him at the Dasana police station and he was sent to jail," Lal said.
Additional Director General (Law and Order) Brij Lal said the police had issued a statewide alert to check the circulation of provocative SMSs. The department had tied up with mobile operators to scan the SMSs and locate the mobile numbers from which they originated.
The anti-terrorist squad and special task force had been asked to track mischief-mongers circulating offending SMSs, Brij Lal said.