Within a span of one year, the Uttar Pradesh Police lodged 366 FIRs for posts on platforms like Facebook and Twitter that threatened communal harmony in the state, said the state's Additional Director General (ADG) on Wednesday, June 16. As per reports, ADG Prashant Kumar said that the UP Police closely monitors social media for activities by miscreants from the Lucknow headquarters, and required instructions are given to police at the district level.
FIRs for Spreading Misinformation and Creating Communal Tension
The action has not been limited to only posts that may cause communal tensions. The police have booked people for spreading misinformation or rumors using social media platforms. A total of 118 cases were lodged for spreading fake information between June 1, 2020, and May 31, 2021.
"Another 366 cases were lodged during the same period over social media posts and comments that disrupted communal harmony in the state," Kumar stated.
The officer further said that 623 cases were registered against users who misused social media through posts and comments for any purpose.
UP Police registered a total of 1,107 FIRs in one year and further proceedings are being carried out in the cases at the district level.
Recent 'Communal' Controversy
The statement of UP Police ADG comes in the wake of the Ghaziabad police booking social media giant Twitter INC, leaders of Congress and several prominent journalists, including Rana Ayub and Mohammad Zubair. The case was filed for sharing a video of an elderly Muslim man in which the assailants can be seen cutting his beard off and forcing him to chant 'Jai Shree Ram.'
The FIR said that the reason behind the attack was an amulet sold to the attackers by the elderly man that they believed caused a miscarriage in their family.
The police claimed that a communal angle was given to the incident, and hence cases were registered.