The Cyberabad Cyber Crime Police Monday registered a criminal case against a Twitter user who goes by the name Major Neelam Singh (retd) on charges of posting fake news on social media with the intention of disrupting communal harmony.
The accused, who goes by the handle, ‘theskindoctor13’, posted a forged image of a newspaper clipping mentioning that ‘Cyberabad police bans the sale of oranges in the city’. The image also carried a photograph of police officials, including Commissioner VC Sajjanar, addressing a media conference with oranges on his desk. The image also carried a forged mast head of a leading Hyderabad-based daily.
While the image mentioned “satire by @theskindoctor13” at the bottom, the user himself tagged Cyberabad Police’s official handle asking “Wtf! Is it true @cyberabadpolice ?” It was posted at 11.12 am on April 26 and was liked by 17.1k users and retweeted by 5,572 before being deleted. The profile of ‘theskindoctor13’ reads thus: “Alter ego of @MajorNeel. Dermatologist. Private Citizen. Na samman ka moh, na apmaan ka bhay.” It has 2,76,000 followers.
The Cyberabad Police has written to Twitter for verification and details of the user. The police have identified two Twitter handles and two Instagram handles being operated by the same user.
Stating that the investigation in the matter is in progress, Commissioner Sajjanar told indianexpress.com that the accused is in Chandigarh and police are yet to contact him. Asked if the handle could be fake, he said it is being verified.
A press release from the Cyberabad police said that police noticed the tweet on Monday and decided to take action. “In the news/article, the Twitter user mentions that to boost secularism to the hilt, Cyberabad police has banned the display, sale and consumption of oranges in the city as saffron color of oranges is hurting the sentiments of the Muslims,” the press release said.
Considering that the tweet is aimed at promoting enmity between different religious groups and disrupt communal harmony, a criminal case has been registered against Mr Major Neelam Singh (Retd) who posted the above fake news on Twitter and the matter is being investigated into, the release added.
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