Updated: March 25, 2015 10:53:54 am
In Uttar Pradesh, where a school student was arrested recently for posting alleged “objectionable” comments on Facebook against SP leader and minister Azam Khan, Section 66A has been invoked in at least 399 cases in the last two years.
These 399 cases are from 46 of the state’s 75 districts, according to information obtained by The Indian Express under the RTI Act. The remaining districts are still to respond.
In most cases, READ — Section 66A had been invoked to book people for Facebook posts, hacking bank accounts, misusing emails and making online payments from accounts of complainants.
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In October 2014, The Indian Express had filed an RTI application with the UP Director General of Police, seeking details of cases registered under Section 66A since January 2013.
The DGP office forwarded the application to all districts but only 46 responded. Four districts — Hardoi, Lalitpur, Mahoba, Sultanpur — said they had not registered any case under Section 66A.
Incidentally, the responses show that there was not a single case where Section 66A alone was used — it was slapped along with other charges to book a person.
In Siddharthnagar district, 18 cases were registered since January 1, 2013 and all related to fraudulent withdrawal of money from bank accounts of complainants.
In Ghaziabad near Delhi, 58 cases were registered — 23 in Indirapuram police station alone.
In Etawah, the home turf of SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, eight cases were registered — one against the son of a state minister. In two of the eight cases, girls were sedated and raped and were later threatened over mobile phones.
In Rampur, the home district of Azam Khan, 13 cases were registered — 10 against Rajat Sharma of India TV at different police stations. In Moradabad too, a case was registered against Rajat Sharma for “broadcasting wrong news against Azam Khan”.
Of the five cases filed in Moradabad, one involved a police sub-inspector who, it was alleged, threatened to frame the complainant if he did not part with Rs 1 lakh.
In Faizabad, 11 cases were registered. In one case, the complainant was former Lok Sabha MP Nirmal Khatri who said he had been threatened over phone. Another former MP from Fatehpur, Rakesh Sachan, filed an FIR saying his image had been tarnished by supporters of rival Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti. These supporters, he said, had sent him text messages.
In Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi, 47 cases were registered — the majority related to fraudulent withdrawal of money from bank accounts of complainants, and threatening SMSes. In nearby Chandauli, eight cases were registered, one against a Ghaziabad-based finance company.
In Kanpur Dehat, two cases were registered over “hurting communal feelings”. One was registered by a Muslim against seven Hindus and the other by a Hindu against two Muslims. In both cases, it was alleged that the accused had posted derogatory comments on Facebook.
In Ambedkar Nagar, three cases were registered. This included one against a branch manager of the State Bank of India. In another case, Congressman complained against a Facebook user named ‘Tanda ke Hindu’ whose posts, they alleged, could incite communal feelings.
Of eight cases in Hathras district, five related to Facebook posts, SMSes and uploading objectionable videos.
In Azamgarh, 24 cases were registered. No details of these cases were made available by police to The Indian Express.
In Muzaffarnagar, two cases of “hurting communal feelings” were registered. While details of one case were not provided, the other case was against an individual who had uploaded his own photograph in which he was carrying arms.
In Pilibhit too, all nine cases related to Facebook comments, forging profiles and sending lewd messages.
In Firozabad, the complainant in one case was the police. It was alleged that a person had called the mahila police station and threatened to kill.
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