Two persons –- Group admin and a member — have been booked for allegedly posting inappropriate content in a WhatsApp group. The message was hatred in nature and would have created communal disturbances in the area. Both the accused are residents of Boisar and booked by the Palghar Police.
Palghar Police spokesman Hemant Patil stated that the posting in the group would have led to enmity among two religious communities. The duo has been booked under Sections 153 (A)(B) and 505(B)of Indian Penal Code (IPC). Section 153 is for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc. Section 505 (B) of IPC is for inducing a person to commit an offence against the state of public tranquillity.
“The post was highly offensive and has the potential to create unrest in the society,” said Gaurav Singh, Superintendent of Police, Palghar.
Search has been launched for the arrest of the WhatsApp group admin and the member, who posted the message.
The hate message with a photograph was posted in the group by one of the members on Sunday. A screenshot was taken and forwarded to the policeman by one of the members. Immediately, an offence was registered on Monday.
This is the first offence registered by the Palghar police against hate mongers in the district.
Cybercrime head appealed last week
Administrators of WhatsApp groups should change settings in their respective groups to allow only them to put out posts, Harish Baijal, DIG (Cyber), Maharashtra, has said in a video appeal.
Baijal’s appeal comes in light of the government upping its drive to curb fake news and misinformation. This has become rampant during the coronavirus pandemic and its resultant lockdown. Till Sunday, over 180 cases had been lodged by the police across the state. Over 38 persons have been arrested so far.
Various governments have issued advisories asking users to be careful before putting out information that could be wrong.