41 cases lodged over arms display on social media in 3 years
Pimpri-Chinchwad police have registered 41 cases in the last three years against those spreading fear by displaying firearms on social media
The Pimpri-Chinchwad police have registered 41 cases in the last three years against those spreading fear by displaying firearms on social media by making videos and using expletives, threatening language, police officials said on Sunday.
As per the data shared by the Pimpri-Chinchwad police, no cases were registered in 2020, four cases in 2021, however, 2022 saw a sudden spike as 37 cases were lodged.
The issue came to light after 19-year-old Pranav Mandekar, a college student in Talegaon Dabhade was murdered. Two student groups took to social media posting videos of gang members attacking their rivals. On November 6, a group of 10-11 students attacked Mandekar over an old rivalry. The Talegaon Dabhade police arrested 10 people and detained eight minors.
According to officials, the rivalry escalated due to gang members posting videos on social media to entice the other gang.
Ankush Shinde, Pimpri-Chinchwad police commissioner said, “It is now a trend to upload threatening videos displaying weapons and arms on social media. To curb this menace, we have ordered officials to registers cases against people displaying arms and creating terror. Residents must notify the police if they come across such videos on social media and necessary action will be taken.”
Harish Mane, police inspector, anti-gunda squad said, “We have launched a campaign to nab those creating a fearful atmosphere. We are constantly monitoring all social media for such activity and taking immediate action. Under this campaign, 27 cases against 35 accused have been registered for displaying weapons on social media. We have also seized 44 weapons.”
Citing an example, the police said one such account is called ‘Thergaon Queen’ and there are over 50 versions of the username where videos and photos of weapons are posted. The girl is seen with multiple people, including a minor boy, using expletives and threatening unidentified people. In one of the videos, the girl is seen threatening to murder someone, said officials.
Mane stated that majority of the accused are 12-25 years-old. During interrogation, it was found that most of them are not involved in criminal activities but post videos by taking inspiration from other criminals, and get noticed among peers. Police with the help of parents’ groups, NGO’s and other social organisations have decided to conduct counselling sessions.