'Crackdown on those stirring trouble via social media'

'Crackdown on those stirring trouble via social media'

The culprits who uploaded derogatory posts that led to a spiral of violence in Pune last week resulting in the killing of an IT professional have been identified and will be arrested soon, Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil told reporters on Monday.

With a string of objectionable posts on social networking sites triggering violence over the past week, Patil said government is mulling action against not only those who uploaded them but also those “liked” and forwarded them.

Meanwhile, two more persons were arrested in connection with the killing of a young IT professional Mohsin Shaikh at suburban Hadapsar during the violence in the wake of Facebook posts denigrating warrior king Shivaji and Shiv Sena founder late Bal Thackeray. With this 19 activists of right wing Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS) have been arrested for the brutal killing of Shaikh (28).

“Social media is used all over the world. It is used for good purposes but anti-social elements are using it for evil purposes as seen from recent incidents in Maharashtra,” he said.

“Those who ‘like’ and forward objectionable content are in a way siding with the culprits and in the next few days, you will see stringent action taken against them,” Patil said, adding, “People are reacting to the content on social media. It is seen that social media is being misused extensively.”

He also said the government would see if there was a need for a separate legislation to prevent such misuse of the social media.

Patil termed as “rumour” media reports that the Centre has “rejected” Maharashtra government’s report on the killing of Mohsin Shaikh. “These are rumours...our report has not been rejected by the Centre,” he said.

There was trouble again in Pune, Nashik and Kolhapur last night after posts with derogatory references to B R Ambedkar were uploaded on Facebook. Angry locals allegedly belonging to a political party vandalised state-run buses in these places.

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