Prophet remarks fallout: Owaisi, Nupur Sharma, journo among those booked

Jun 09, 2022 01:30 PM IST

The remarks triggered a diplomatic row as countries in West and South-East Asia such as Indonesia denounced them

New Delhi: The Delhi Police have booked suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma, Naveen Jindal, journalist Saba Naqvi, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi, and priest Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati in two cases related to derogatory remarks against Prophet Mohammed and alleged hate on social media in the aftermath.

Nupur Sharma. (PTI)
Nupur Sharma. (PTI)

A First Information Report (FIR) was lodged against Sharma on Thursday over the derogatory remarks during a TV debate last month. Jindal, Naqvi, Owaisi, Saraswati, and others were named in a separate FIR after the analysis of their “controversial messages” on social media, a Delhi Police officer said.

The remarks triggered a diplomatic row as countries in West and South-East Asia denounced them. The BJP removed Sharma as a spokesperson and expelled Jindal following widespread anger. Kuwait, Qatar, and Iran have been among the countries that summoned Indian ambassadors to protest against the remarks.

The Delhi Police’s Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit is probing the two cases. It has started writing to Twitter, Facebook, and other social media intermediaries for details of the “objectionable messages” the people named in the second case posted mostly after Sharma’s remarks.

Deputy police commissioner KPS Malhotra said some notices have been sent to the social media intermediaries. He added the investigating team is in the process of sending more notices to seek details from other social media entities. Malhotra said more names may be added to the FIRs as they proceed in their investigation.

“The FIRs were registered against multiple individuals across religions. We will investigate the roles of various social media entities in promoting false and wrong information with an intention to create unrest in cyberspace and the physical space...compromising the social fabric,” said Malhotra.

The investigators said they will also analyse social media posts made in the past with the potential to “incite communal hatred” and “disturb peace and tranquillity in cyberspace and society”.

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