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Coronavirus lockdown | 82 held in Bihar for spreading communal disharmony

Police have lodged 153 cases in the last one month of lockdown

Over 80 people have been arrested in Bihar for spreading communal disharmony on social media after the COVID-19 outbreak. Police have lodged 153 cases in the last one month of lockdown. Police officials said most of the arrested were those posting inflammatory and communal messages on social media.

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“About 82 people have been arrested and 153 cases filed since March 22 after the first COVID-19 case was detected in the State,” Additional Director General of Police (Headquarters) Jitendra Kumar told journalists. The number of cases had gone up from 104 to 153 in the last 10 days, he added.

BDO’s complaint

Recently, on April 20, the Biharsharief Block Development Officer (BDO) in Nalanda district, Rajiv Ranjan, had lodged an FIR at the Laheri police station against two Bajrang Dal members, Kundan Kumar Mahto and Dhiraj Kumar, and five unidentified persons, for fanning communal tension at the Bharavpur chowk by putting saffron flags at shops owned by Hindus. They were also urging locals to buy stuffs only from those shops owned by Hindus, said the BDO. “This could lead to a communal tension in the area,” he added. However, even after a week none has been arrested in the case.

Similar cases are lodged in Muzaffarpur, Shahabad, Katihar and Saran districts too. In Katihar, the police had arrested an individual who was running a portal for propagating a fake video about a COVID-19 patient moving around unattended in a government facility. In Bhojpur, police lodged cases against those who shared inflammatory and communal messages on social media. Some of them were also spreading fake messages about Tablighi Jamaat through social media.

“It is our fervent appeal to all to be wary of such inflammatory messages spreading on social media these days by anti-social elements … people should not forward such messages to others,” said the police official.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 9:43:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-lockdown-82-held-in-bihar-for-spreading-communal-disharmony/article31456951.ece

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