Kashmir police issue guidelines under Section 144 of CrPC to curb social media misuse - Hindustan Times
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Kashmir police issue guidelines under Section 144 of CrPC to curb social media misuse

ByAshiq Hussain, Srinagar
Dec 07, 2023 10:55 PM IST

In south Kashmir’s Anantnag, district deputy commissioner Syeed Fakhrudin Hamid issued an order under Section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) warning unregistered online news or social media news portals

The district authorities and police in Kashmir on Thursday cautioned social media handles, their owners and people to refrain from sharing news content without verification or militant propaganda, otherwise they will face action under law.

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In south Kashmir’s Anantnag, district deputy commissioner Syeed Fakhrudin Hamid issued an order under Section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) warning unregistered online news or social media news portals while in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district senior superintendent of police (SSP) Amod Ashok Nagpure asked people to avoid becoming part of militant propaganda. Bandipora district magistrate (DM) Dr Owais Ahmad also issued an order on Thursday asking netizen in the district to refrain from all sorts of misuse of social-media platforms.

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Hamid, while quoting police, said there has been mushrooming of unregistered online news portals and social media pages reporting news, and current affairs without any verification and accountability.

“Whereas as per Section 9 (1) of Information Technology (Intermediatory Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, the publisher of news and current affairs content and publisher of online curated content need to adhere to the Code of Ethics laid down,” the order said.

“Now…, I Syeed Fakhrudin Hamid, (IAS), district magistrate Anantnag, do hereby order and require all unregistered online news portals/social media news portals and their owners and publishers, publishing news and current affairs content operating within or from the jurisdiction of Anantnag to adhere the Code of Ethics laid down in the appendix of Information Technology (Intermediatory Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. The order shall come into force with immediate effect and any violation of this order shall invite punitive action under Section 188 of Indian Penal Code, 1860, and other relevant legal provisions,” it said.

Such orders were also issued by other district magistrates of various Kashmir districts last week.

Meanwhile, SSP Baramulla Amod Ashok Nagpure quoted an order by district magistrate and said a ban has been put in place on sharing any post regarding any militant organisation on social media or groups, promoting terrorism or communal disharmony.

“Under UAPA and the IPC, these things are now illegal and whosoever who uses his/her digital devices to share messages of terrorists’ organisations and separatists on social media is committing a crime. We are ready to take action against such persons and social media handles,” he said.

He said if such messages are received by any person unintentionally, he/she should report it to the nearest police station. “If he/she doesn’t do that, action will be taken against them,” he said.

Refrain from all sorts of misuse of social-media platforms: Bandipora DM

Bandipora DM Dr Owais Ahmad also issued an order on Thursday asking netizen in the district to refrain from all sorts of misuse of social-media platforms.

He said some anti-national persons or groups are resorting to misuse of social-media networking platforms on internet by ‘preparing’ or ‘posting’ or ‘spreading’ or ‘propagating’ by way of ‘forwarding’ or ‘sharing’ incendiary messages and propaganda of terrorist and separatist outfits.

Such activities, the order read, are being carried out with intention to glorify terrorists and their actions, intimidate and terrorize individuals or general public or sections of public, exhort member(s) of public to resort to violence by inciting, encouraging and spreading disaffection/hatred, propagate terrorist and secessionist ideology and false narratives, and promoting fell of hatred, ill-will on religious grounds which is likely to disturb public order and tranquillity.

“Such acts on part of these anti-national persons or groups are prejudicial to the security of the state, maintenance of law and order and are likely to disturb the public tranquility”, said the order, adding “such acts on the part of these anti-national persons or groups are aimed at terrorising common citizens and public functionaries from discharging their lawful duties.”

The DM prohibited and ordered the general public to refrain from “posting” or “sharing” any messages or content as mentioned with immediate effect within the limits of Bandipora.

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