Tension escalated at McLeodganj, a suburb of Dharamshala town, as hate messages started making rounds on the social networking sites following the murder of a Tibetan youth by three locals Friday.
On October 30, Tsultrim Chokden (29), who was returning home along with his female friend around midnight, was stabbed to death by three motorcycle-borne youths when he objected to their acts as they were harassing his female friend. The accused were arrested the following day and are in judicial custody till November 6.
Meanwhile, hate messages targeting the Indian community have started circulating on social networking sites and messaging apps, even as the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) and Office of Tibetan Settlement has urged people to refrain from sharing objectionable material regarding the incident.
“Hate messages targeting Indians, particularly the tribal Gaddi community, have started circulating. There is a sense of insecurity in the town which may lead to disruption of peace if this is not stopped immediately,” a local resident, on the condition of anonymity, said.
Messages being shared through Facebook and WhatsApp have provocative language and incite Tibetans living in Dharamshala to take revenge for the gruesome murder.
With fake videos being shared prompted Tibetan Settlement Officer Sonam Dorjee to appeal to the exiled community to refrain from sharing provocative messages.
“I have appealed through Facebook that the exiled community should refrain from unrestrained or racist commenting on the incident. What has happened was very unfortunate and the Indian authorities are cooperating to bring the culprits to the justice,” Sonam Dorjee said.
A few anti-social elements, Dorjee said, were trying to disrupt harmony between the Indian and the Tibetan community.
The press officer at CTA’s department of information and international relations (DIIR) Tsering Wangchuk said few people with unknown identities were circulating the hate messages.
“These people are faceless. We have been closely monitoring the activities on social networking sites but it is hard to ascertain who is actually behind these activities,” said Wangchuk.
When contacted, Kangra superintendent of police (SP) Abhishek Dular said adequate arrangements have been made to maintain peace in the area.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Tibetans turned up for a candlelight vigil organised by Tibetan groups in solidarity with the deceased.
Earlier on Monday, the prime witness in the case, the Tibetan girl who was with the deceased on the night of the murder, identified the culprits at the Sessions Court.