Mangaluru, July 10,2017: in spite of warnings and awarness social media continues to incite communal feelings and tensions unabated in Dakshina Kannada, with the police yet to act strictly against them.
Following group clashes, two murders and assault incidents in Bantwal and in Mangaluru taluk in the district since May 26, unwanted and unconfirmed posts have become a matter of concern among the public.
A post went viral on July 8, Saturday evening in a social media group that a person had been stabbed again in Kaikamba near B.C. Road after the funeral procession of a RSS activist. Another post said that it took place in Kaikamba near Gurupura in Mangaluru taluk. It forced Dakshina Kannada Superintendent of Police C.H. Sudheer Kumar Reddy to clarify that no such incident had taken place as the police had checked all hospitals.
Facebook page ‘Veera Kesari’ had retaliatory messages targeting a community. Concerns have been expressed over messages inciting communal passions posted on the Facebook page of “Mangalore Muslims”, which is among the 10 Facebook accounts that a Mangaluru Magistrate Court directed the Union government and the Facebook to block. This order was passed on October 14, 2016, following objectionable posts on Lord Rama and Goddess Durgaparameshwari.
Following the death of RSS activist Sharath Madiwala, another inciting post appeared on this page. It had another post threatening a RSS leader a few days ago.
The screenshots of posts inciting communal feelings on this page went viral on WhatsApp. After a BJP leader complained with Mangaluru north police, the posts were deleted.
Following a petition by the Mangaluru police, the 2nd Judicial Magistrate First Class Court on October 14, 2016, ordered the blocking of 10 Facebook accounts including Mangalore Muslims, Jabbar B.C. Road, Muslim Yuwa Sene, Nanobba Katta Byari, and Nanobba Hindu. The then Police Commissioner M. Chandra Sekhar wrote to B.K. Murthy, group coordinator, Cyber Law, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, to act on the order.
The city police went to the Facebook office in Mumbai asking it to implement the court orders. A senior executive of Facebook met then officer Sekhar in June, which was a few days before the latter demitted office, and assured action. “Some contentious posts were removed following the meeting,” a senior police officer stated.
Mangaluru Police Commissioner T.R. Suresh said that since May 26, the police have been concentrating on law and order in the district. “We have already arrested a few persons in connection with objectionable posts. Once the situation returns to normal, we will act against objectionable posts on social media,” he said.