Other States

Clampdown on Kashmir social media users, 2 held

A file photo used for representational purpose only.

A file photo used for representational purpose only.  

The police have started a clampdown on social media users in Kashmir and arrested two persons in the Valley.

A police official said Waseem Majeed Dar, a resident of Handwara's Waskura area, was arrested after “strenuous efforts for posting objectionable content” on social media platforms.

“The police acted after it came to know that some youth were circulating fake news, spreading rumours and hatred on social media platforms”, the police said.

Dar was arrested under Section 153-153A of the Ranbir Penal Code, dealing with those who resort to vilification or attacks upon the religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc.

In a separate case, another youth, Imtiyaz Ahmad Kawa, was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly posting fake pictures of vandalism by security forces in Kupwara district.

According to the police, Kawa, a driver by profession from Srinagar's Saida Kadal locality, was booked under Section 505 of the Indian Penal Code.

Also read: We’re in the stone age, say Kashmir students on Internet shut down

Kawa's Facebook post is three months old. “The post was aimed to incite violence. The accused was absconding”, the police said.

The Kupwara police said the youth was “maligning the image of the forces in public and the action is part of an exercise to act tough against ‘online miscreants’.”

Police sources said the Cyber Police Station, Kashmir Zone, had questioned and tracked many locals who kept posting political content on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

However, the police failed to establish any links of these social media users with militants or any handlers across the border so far.

The clampdown comes just four days after the police lodged an open First Information Report (FIR) under Section 13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act; Section 188, 505 of Indian Penal Code and 66-A(b) of the Information Technology Act.

The J&K government banned all the social media sites on January 14, fearing “misuse by Pakistan to foment trouble and upsurge militancy in J&K”.

Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh has warned of strict action against use of social media through the virtual private networks (VPNs). “We are aware of the loopholes being exploited. We are keeping an eye if the VPN use is within the tolerable limits. In case of any misuse, the government will be forced to take action”, he has said.

One Saqib Ahmed Lone from Budgam was arrested in Kashmir on Friday along with incriminating material. “He was held at a check-point established at Khan Sahib area of Budgam. He is involved in assisting active militants and sheltering Jaish-e-Muhammad militants”, the police said.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 11:46:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/clampdown-on-kashmir-social-media-users-2-held/article30883064.ece

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