The Uttar Pradesh Police have booked microblogging platform Twitter, a news portal and six persons in connection with the circulation of a video in which an elderly Muslim man narrates his ordeal after he was allegedly attacked by some people in Ghaziabad.
The FIR, which was lodged at the Loni Border police station in Ghaziabad around 11.30 pm on Tuesday on the basis of a complaint lodged by a local policeman, alleges that the video was shared with an intention to provoke communal unrest.
In the video clip, which surfaced on social media on June 14, the elderly Muslim man, Abdul Shamad Saifi, alleges he was thrashed by some young men and asked to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
However, the Ghaziabad Police, who have arrested six persons, including Muslims, have ruled out a communal angle. They said the accused were unhappy about the ‘tabeez’ (amulet) he had sold to them.
The arrested youth have been identified as Kalloo and Adil. Apart from them, Polly, Arif, Mushahid and Parvesh Gurjar were also involved in the incident, Senior Superintendent of Police Amit Pathak said on Tuesday.
Later on Tuesday, the police lodged an FIR against Twitter Inc, Twitter Communications India, news website The Wire, journalists Mohammad Zubair and Rana Ayyub, Congress politicians Salman Nizami, Masqoor Usmani, Dr. Sama Mohammad and writer Saba Naqvi for sharing the clip.
“These people did not verify the truth of the matter and shared it online with a communal angle with an intention to disrupt public peace and create a divide between religious groups,” the FIR states.
“Besides this, Twitter Inc and Twitter Communications India also did not take any measures to remove their tweets,” it adds.
The FIR has been lodged under Indian Penal Code sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 153A (promoting enmity between groups on ground of religion, class etc), 295A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious belief), 120B (criminal conspiracy), among others.