Police arrested four persons, including a school teacher from Vadodara, and three from Ahmedabad, Amreli and Gandhinagar, over posting or forwarding messages that are “inflammatory”, “obscene” or hurting sentiments on social media during the lockdown in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
A teacher at a government-run primary school in Padra was on Monday arrested for allegedly calling the media a “virus” and forwarding videos, which took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The accused Nur Mohammad Malek (52) has been booked under Indian Penal Code section 153 (a) (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language), 505 (Statements conducing to public mischief) and under relevant sections of the Disaster Management Act.
According to the complaint filed by a farmer in Padra, who is also a close friend of the taluka education officer, Malek used to forward such videos to the taluka teachers WhatsApp group.
The police also arrested another person from Sejkuwa village on Monday — Pyaresaab Naruddin Ralmiya Saiyed (47), who sent these messages to groups in which Malek was also a member from where the latter allegedly forwarded the messages to the teachers’ group.
“The person in the Tik Tok video is unknown and investigations to identify him are under way. They were booked for forwarding such messages in wider groups on social media. Further investigations are on,” said investigating office AP Gadhvi.
In Ahmedabad, the Cyber Crime Cell arrested a 40-year-old cloth merchant from Kalupur for posting “obscene comments” on Facebook regarding the spread of COVID-19. The accused, Umar Khalid Pathan (40), was held under IPC section 294 B for singing, reciting or uttering obscenity and under the Information Technology Act.
“On April 1, he posted a video on his Facebook profile of a woman and her child who were walking on the road… The accused posted an obscene slur as the caption of the video and asked the media to report such news… The Cyber Crime cell took cognisance of the video and arrested the accused on Monday,” said a senior officer of the Cyber Crime Cell.
The district crime branch of Ahmedabad on Sunday night booked a Twitter handle Irshad Siddique (IrshadS25367117) under IPC 153 A and 505 for promoting enmity between religious groups and mischief.
“We have traced an Ahmedabad based Twitter user by the name Irshad Siddique who posted a comment on communal lines,” said IS Rabari, police sub-inspector, Crime Branch in the FIR.
In Amreli, police arrested a 40-year-old man for sharing a video message on WhatsApp message related to Nizamuddin event whose content was allegedly inflammatory. The accused has been identified as Hasan Jakhra, a resident of BD Kamdar society in Savarkundla of Amreli, who has been booked under IPC section 153, 295 and 505 for promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, defiling place of worship with intent to insult and mischief, along with sections of the IT Act.
In Gandhinagar, police arrested a 29-year-old man from Kalol area for posting hate speech on WhatsApp groups. The accused Priyank Patel, a resident of Inderlok Society in Kalol, was held under IPC section 505.
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