Uttar Pradesh Police has lodged as many as 32 FIRs in the last three days against people from different communities across the state for sharing and posting objectionable, hurtful and discriminatory comments on social media following the killing of Hindu outfit leader Kamlesh Tiwari.
Police have arrested 10 people in this connection. Police have also started the process to block 178 social media accounts.
In the last 24 hours, the police have lodged seven FIRs on serious charges, including promoting enmity on grounds of religion and trying to disturb communal harmony, and initiated the process to block 28 social media accounts.
According to the UP police headquarters, of the total 32 cases, two FIRs each were lodged in Auraiya and Prayagraj, three each in Lakhimpur Kheri and Kanpur, and one each in Hardoi, Ambedkar Nagar, Pratapgarh, Deoria, Saharanpur, Hameerpur, Rampur, Sitapur, Jalaun, Gonda, Ballia, Jhansi, Aligarh, Balrampur, Bulandshahr, Barabanki, Varanasi and Banda districts.
Four cases were lodged by the Cyber Crime Unit.
The cases were lodged under various sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 295-A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 153-A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 295 (Injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) and 505(2) (Statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes).
Police said its social media cell identified the accounts with discriminatory comments. “In the 32 cases, police have arrested 10 people so far. Efforts are being made to trace the others who have posted discriminatory comments on social media,” said Praveeen Kumar, Inspector General, Law and Order.
In Sitapur, Tiwari’s native place, an FIR was lodged against one Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati and his unidentified followers for allegedly making hateful remarks against the minority community.
Station House Officer of Mahmoodabad police station Arun Kumar said Saraswati gave a hateful statement after meeting the family of Tiwari at his native place in Sitapur, a video of which went viral.
“An FIR has been lodged against Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati and his unidentified supporters under various sections of the IPC, including 295-A. None of them have been arrested.”