Another man arrested in Kashmir for spreading rumours on social media

Updated on Feb 22, 2020 08:25 AM IST

This comes two days after the arrest of a man in Srinagar who had uploaded photographs on Facebook last year falsely accusing security forces of vandalism in Kupwara district.

A Kashmiri shopkeeper read newspapers outside his shop as Indian Paramilitary soldiers stand guard in central Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020.(AP photo for representation)
A Kashmiri shopkeeper read newspapers outside his shop as Indian Paramilitary soldiers stand guard in central Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020.(AP photo for representation)
Hindustan Times, Srinagar | ByAshiq Hussain

A man was arrested in Handwara of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Friday for spreading rumours on social media, police have said.

This comes two days after the arrest of a man in Srinagar who had uploaded photographs on Facebook last year falsely accusing security forces of vandalism in Kupwara district.

Handwara’s superintendent of police, GV Sundeep Chakravarthy, said they have arrested Waseem Majeed Dar, a resident of Waskura in Handwara.

A police spokesperson said Dar was arrested after they received information that “some youth are circulating fake news and spreading rumours and hatred through social media platforms”.

“On the receipt of this information, case FIR 25/20 U/s 153-153A/505 RPC was registered and an investigation was taken up at Police Station Handwara. After strenuous efforts the culprit namely Waseem Majeed was apprehended,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson also appealed people not to pay heed to the rumours and fake news and not to fall prey to the propaganda of such elements inimical to peace.

“Police are committed to taking strict legal action against the rumour-mongers and any person spreading hatred among various sections of the society,” he said.

Imtiyaz Ahmad Kawa, a resident of Saida Kadal in Srinagar city, was arrested on Thursday for rumour-mongering by Kupwara Police from his home.

Kupwara’s senior superintendent of police, Ambarkar Shriram Dinkar, said Kawa had uploaded a false Facebook post last year alleging security forces had damaged property worth lakhs of rupees in Kupwara.

The arrests come amid police apprehensions that trouble makers were going around the ban imposed on the use of social media sites to fan trouble in the region.

On Monday, Jammu and Kashmir’s cyber police station had registered a general FIR for the alleged misuse of social media platforms using virtual private networks (VPNs).

Social media has been banned in Jammu and Kashmir after low-speed mobile internet was restored on January 25 more than five months following curbs on communication were placed following the revocation of J-K’s special status and its bifurcation on August 5.

Director general of police, Dilbag Singh, had said on Wednesday that those using VPNs for misuse of social media were being apprehended. Kashmir’s inspector general of police, Vijay Kumar, also said that many were using social media to flare up trouble.

“Some miscreants are spreading rumours, instigating people and some are even facilitating militants to throw grenades and (open) fire at particular places. We have proof of that,” Kumar had said.

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