Chinese short-video messaging application TikTok on Tuesday said it had suspended the accounts of users who had posted a controversial video on the mob lynching of a Muslim man in Jharkhand last month, IANS reported. The action was taken after Shiv Sena activist Ramesh Solanki filed a complaint with the Mumbai Police’s cyber cell against the TikTok group named “Team 07”, which has almost four crore followers.
Members of the group – Faisal Shaikh, Hasnain Khan, Faiz Baloch, Adnan Shaikh, and Shadan Farooqui – allegedly uploaded the video. One of the members was seen saying, “You may have killed that innocent Tabrez Ansari, but tomorrow if his son takes revenge, do not say that all Muslims are terrorists.”
The accounts of Hasnain Khan, Faisal Shaikh and Sadhan Faroqui were suspended, said the company. TikTok said it would not tolerate “such irresponsible acts” on its platform, and added that it was cooperating with law-enforcement agencies.
“TikTok has zero tolerance for content that incites violence against other users or any content that violates its community guidelines,” the company said in a statement. “In line with this, the video in question, which has violated our community guidelines, is no longer available on TikTok.”
Mumbai Police registered a case against unidentified persons on Monday under Sections 153-A and 34 of the Indian Penal Code. “As this ‘hate-mongering’ video can disturb peace between two communities and lead to possibilities of a communal tension, we have registered an offence against the TikTok account user which was used to post the video,” PTI quoted an unidentified senior police official as saying.
The video drew a lot of flak on social media, and after a Twitter user pointed out that the group had worked with Zee Music Company, their music video was removed. “Thank you for bringing this to our notice, we have removed their music video ‘tere bin kive’ from all our platforms,” the company tweeted. “They are not Zee Music Co artists.”
On June 18, Tabrez Ansari was caught in Jharkhand’s Dhaktidih village while allegedly attempting to steal a motorcycle. He was reportedly tied to a pole and beaten for 12 hours by a mob. The police took Ansari into custody and produced him in a court that sent him to judicial remand. He fell grievously ill on June 22 and was taken to a hospital, where he died. Weeks after the incident, a civil rights group from Jharkhand found lapses in the treatment of Ansari. Eleven people have been arrested in the case so far.