The video that flared up communal violence in Muzaffarnagar and other districts of West UP has returned to haunt the police again.
When communal violence rocked Muzaffarnagar on September 7, the police had to get the video showing a mob lynching two youths blocked on social networking sites. By then, however, the damage had been done.
The video, purported to depict the lynching by minority community of two boys from Jat community in Kaval village on August 27, has been sourced to a 2010 incident that took place in Pakistan’s Sialkot.
The police have booked BJP MLA from Sardhana assembly seat Sangeet Som and 228 others for circulating the video.
Though the violence has ebbed, the CDs of the inflammatory video have surfaced in the districts of east and central UP and the intelligence agencies have warned the police the video can have catastrophic consequences in communal sensitive districts like Varanasi, Azamgarh, Gorakhpur, Bareilly, Kanpur, Agra, Faizabad, Bahraich, Pratapgarh and Gonda.
Inspector general of police (STF) Ashish Gupta, however, said the police will use the media, especially the vernacular newspapers, mobile phone services and social networking sites to counter the hate propaganda. He said the superintendents of police of all the districts have been told to send bulk SMSes to the people to counter rumour mongering.
The police will also take action against fly-by-night computer centers preparing and circulating the CDs.
During the Ram temple movement in 1990-91, a CD of the persons shot dead in the police firing was circulated in UP to fan passions. During the 2009 Lok Sabha election too, the CD of Varun Gandhi’s hate speech was circulated in Pilibhit and neighbouring districts to polarise the people on communal lines.