Delhi Police to probe ‘international conspiracy’ to defame India

Over 300 social media handles being used for pushing hateful content, they say; FIR lodged against creators of a toolkit.

February 04, 2021 05:22 pm | Updated November 28, 2021 02:29 pm IST - NEW DELHI

A heavily-fortified Singhu border, one of the farmer protest sites, on February 4, 2021.

A heavily-fortified Singhu border, one of the farmer protest sites, on February 4, 2021.

The Delhi Police cyber cell has registered an FIR and will investigate an “international conspiracy” to defame the country, a senior police officer said on Thursday. 

The officer said that a Twitter handle had shared a “toolkit” document, but deleted it later. It was apparently created by an allegedly pro-Khalistan organisation Poetic Justice Foundation.

“We have not named anybody in the FIR. It’s only against the creators of the toolkit and Delhi Police will be investigating that,” said Praveer Ranjan, Special Commissioner of Police.

He said the FIR was registered under section 124A (Sedition), 153 (Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups) and 120B (criminal conspiracy). It appeared that there was a plan to wage a social, cultural and economic war against India.

“Delhi Police is monitoring the social media in connection with the Kisan agitation. In the process, it has identified more than 300 SM [social media] handles pushing hateful and malicious content. These handles are being used by some organisations/ individuals having [a] vested interest and they are spreading disaffection against the Government of India,” said Mr. Ranjan.

Police said the farmers may not be aware of forces guiding their actions and setting their agenda, but there were clear indicators that hostile “deep state actors” were either behind it or would join in to exploit the sentiments. 

The “toolkit”, police said, had a section titled “Prior action plan” about “digital strikes” to be conducted through hashtags on and before January 26, tweetstorms from January 23 onwards, physical action on January 26, and joining the farmers’ march into Delhi and back to the borders.

Also read | Lok Sabha sees repeated disruptions over farm laws

“If you go by the unfolding of events, including the violence of January 26, it reveals a copycat execution of the action plan,” said Mr. Ranjan.

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