With social media being used to spread rumours and “malicious content” about hospitalised Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s health, police on Tuesday enlisted private cyber experts to keep a watch on platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp and warned of stern action against those indulging in such acts. “We have formed a few police teams. And the help of cyber experts from private agencies has been sought. They will help the Cyber Crime wing,” a senior official of Central Crime Branch (CCB) of City Police dealing with the matter told PTI.
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He said the Cyber Crime wing will keep a watch on social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and YouTube which are allegedly being misused to spread rumours about Jayalalithaa, who has been undergoing treatment at a corporate hospital since September 22 when she complained of fever and dehydration.
Police have so far registered 43 cases and arrested two persons in connection with posting of “malicious and false content” on the social media about the health of 68-year-old Jayalalithaa.
Special teams, constituted to investigate such cases, were working to identify those who had posted such “false and malicious content” on social media, they said, adding such “offences are liable to be punished with rigorous imprisonment for more than seven years”.
“Users of social media are advised not to spread false, malicious and motivated information regarding the health condition of the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Stern action will be taken against the culprits, if any such content is noticed,” police added.
Two persons have been arrested, one each from Namakkal and Madurai districts, by the CCB, following complaints made here.
A software engineer, Sathish Kumar from Devanankurichi in Namakkal “admitted” to having posted “malicious content” on Facebook, and he was arrested based on a complaint from the AIADMK IT Wing Secretary G Ramachandran, police said.
Further, Madurai-based Madasamy, who operated a website and posted “malicious content” about the Chief Minister’s health, was also arrested from Madurai, following a complaint from a resident of Chennai, police said.
The two were arrested yesterday under relevant IPC sections for “spreading rumours with intent to cause riot, creating panic among general public, causing disturbance to public order and for creating hatred between two groups,” police said, adding they were remanded in custody.