The Nashik cyber cell arrested seven people, including the administrators of WhatsApp groups for spreading rumours in the city, which witnessed an atmosphere of tension after the sexual assault of a minor.
According to the police, the accused instigated people by circulating false messages. “They messaged people about incidents which did not really occur,” said Anil Pawar, denior police inspector, cyber crime. The accused were arrested under section 153-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) (promoting disharmony) and were later released on bail.
“Think before you forward any post, video or photograph. If anyone spreads rumours that will disrupt the peace, one should inform the police and not forward such messages,” said Nashik police commissioner Ravindra Singhal.
An angry mob torched 20 vehicles in Nashik on Sunday after a five-year-old girl was allegedly sexually assaulted by a 15-year-old at Talegaon in Trimbakeshwar, around 175km from Mumbai, prompting the state government to appeal to residents, seeking peace.
Police sources said the accused befriended the girl and her elder sister. After asking the sister to buy biscuits from a shop, he took the minor to a secluded spot and sexually assaulted her. The girl, who was later taken to a hospital, is currently stable, said sources.
The accused has been booked under the IPC and relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.