Mumbai Police, probing the case of objectionable posts that led to recent mob violence in Pune, is in the process of sending Letters Rogatory to the US seeking “requisite information” from social networking site Facebook, which it said is “not cooperating”. “We have begun the process to send Letters Rogatory to the US government as we need some information which has not been shared with us by the Facebook,” said a crime branch officer.
Letters Rogatory will be formally sent by a court in Maharashtra to the court concerned in the US, seeking legal assistance in investigation. “Facebook does not pay heed to our requests as the social networking site feels that it should not compromise with the identity of the users as it may result in losing them (users),” the officer added.
“As Facebook is not cooperating, we are now writing LR to the US government so that it collects the information we need from the social networking site and shares with us,” he said.
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Investigators have already tracked down the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of four different computers to the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, France and Romania from where the offensive posts were uploaded, using proxy servers. “We are also seeking help from these four countries under Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty,” the officer said. Crime branch has since April 28 blocked 24 Facebook accounts that contained offensive posts.
“As a precautionary measure, we blocked these accounts that contained objectionable pictures of various personalities and references to communities etc,” the officer said. The pictures denigrating warrior king Shivaji and Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray, held in high esteem in Maharashtra, were posted by unknown people on May 31, setting off a spiral of violence in Pune in which young information technology professional Mohsin Shaikh was bludgeoned to death allegedly by activists of a little-known Hindu radical group Hindu Rashtra Sena on June 2.
Pune police had last night arrested one more person in connection with the techie’s killing, taking the number of those arrested in the case so far to 20.