FIR against 4 for sending rape, death threats to journalist Rana Ayyub

Published on Jan 31, 2022 09:01 PM IST

The police has sought information on the six Twitter and Instagram accounts from the service providers.

Rana Ayyub told the cyber cell of Mumbai police that over 26,000 abusive, objectionable tweets were posted on her social media profiles over the past few days. (Saumya Khandelwal/HT PHOTO)
Rana Ayyub told the cyber cell of Mumbai police that over 26,000 abusive, objectionable tweets were posted on her social media profiles over the past few days. (Saumya Khandelwal/HT PHOTO)

Mumbai: A First Information Report (FIR) has been filed against unidentified persons for sending rape and death threats to independent journalist Rana Ayyub on Twitter and Instagram.

Ayyub told the cyber cell of Mumbai police that over 26,000 abusive, objectionable tweets were posted on her Twitter handle and other platforms over the past few days.

“The accused posted fake news about Ayyub saying that she has been banned from Saudi Arabia and the user also gave her rape threats and abused her. The offence has been registered against four Twitter and two Instagram account users on Friday,” a deputy commissioner of police rank officer said.

On January 25, Ayyub had tweeted, “26.4 thousand tweets, most are abusive, rape and death threats, calling me a terror sympathiser. Most tweets are by the Indian right wing & Saudi nationalists who are attacking me after i posted a tweet in solidarity with Yemen and calling out the Saudis. Hello @TwitterIndia.”

Ayyub, who has over 1.5 million followers on Twitter and 320K followers on Instagram, has been a staunch critic of the BJP-led union government and right-wing organisations.

The next day, on January 26, a Twitter user by name @thescoopbeats claiming to be an Indian News Media Organisation, posted a YouTube video link with a message, “Saudi Arab Banned Rana Ayyub #RanaAyyub #SaudiArabian #banned @RanaAyyub @KingSalman Anchor @Mannusahu1319, @Vidyanshi6 Editor @Patrakar_Ayush.”

In the 10-minute video, two young women presented a news bulletin with memes under the title, ‘Saudi Banned Rana Ayyub?’. The video received over 4,000 views.

In a tweet, Ayyub claimed that the portal spread fake news by using a photoshopped tweet image of Ayyub saying she hates India and she hates all Indians. In response, the portal uploaded another video claiming that the facts presented in their news were all correct and authentic.

Mumbai police sources said that they are looking into the YouTube video.

Dr Rashmi Karandikar, DCP, Cyber Cell, on Monday said that the complainant has received many obscene comments and death threats.

Based on her complaint an offence has been registered by the West Region Cyber Police Station under sections 354A (Sexual Harassment), 506-2 (death threats), 509 (outraging modesty of women), 500 (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code and 66c (Punishment for identity theft) and 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of Information Technology Act, she said.

“Mumbai Police has registered an FIR against those who disseminated fake news, morphed tweets and death and rape threats against me. About time these brazen and consolidated acts of online violence are stopped and the perpetrators brought to book,” Ayyub tweeted on Monday.  

“Impressed with the alacrity and co-operation of @CPMumbaiPolice @Dwalsepatil @supriya_sule @satejp @CMOMaharashtra. This bullying and assault on women needs to stop. Hope the accused are brought to book soon,” she added.

The police has sought information on the six Twitter and Instagram accounts from the service providers. The cyber cell is also investigating whether the accused have targeted other journalists or individuals on social media.

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