Police in Mangaluru have issued notices to 23 persons and arrested two for allegedly publishing provocative posts on social media, The Indian Express reported on Friday. Some of the notices were issued through the Twitter account of the Mangaluru cyber crime police and included charges under the Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with sedition.
“In the background of few miscreants sending inflammatory messages inciting communal hatred, criminal cases have been registered, accused have been served notices and legal action is underway,” said one of the tweets by police on December 31. “An appeal is made to all to desist from sending any such messages in contravention of law.”
Another notice stated that a case had been registered against an individual for posting an inflammatory post. Police said the content was “inciting tension which may result/resulting in breach of public peace and order, promoting enmity between groups on religious lines.” The individual was also asked to be present before the department’s police inspector on January 5. The notice said the required measures will be taken to “compel attendance”.
Inspector Girish, part of the Mangaluru cyber crime, economic offences, and narcotics department, confirmed that some individuals were sent notices. He added that two people, identified as Abubakar Siddique and Mohideen Hameez, were arrested for allegedly propagating communal hatred through posts.
Mangaluru City Police Commissioner PS Harsha in a tweet on December 30 appealed to everyone, especially the youth to not send or forward any message that incites communal hatred or violence. “Please keep off from such messaging as it is illegal and would be followed by strict legal action by law enforcing agencies,” he tweeted.
The city police has formed a dedicated team of cyber experts to be vigilant of those purportedly spreading inflammatory messages on social media.
On December 19, two people, both Muslims, were killed in police firing in Mangaluru during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. The Bharatiya Janata Party-led BS Yediyurappa government had initially announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the kin of the victims, but later withdrew it.
The legislation, passed by Parliament on December 11, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014. The Act has been widely criticised as being discriminatory for excluding Muslims and has triggered nationwide protests during which a total of at least 26 people were killed.