Four persons were arrested for disseminating inflammatory and hateful content on social media following a severe flood situation in Junagadh. The individuals shared videos of the floods and insinuated that Allah had unleashed the calamity upon the city as a consequence of an illegal Dargah’s demolition in Junagadh.
Kajal Hindustani, a Hindu activist, shared some of those videos on Twitter and demanded action from the Gujarat Police. On the basis of this, an FIR was filed at Junagadh B Division Police Station on Tuesday (July 25, 2023). A copy of this FIR is available with OpIndia.
The FIR was registered on the basis of a complaint by a constable on duty with the cyber crime cell. In this complaint, he said that while he was keeping a watch on social media, a tweet from a user named Kajal Hindustani came to his notice. In this post, she tagged the Gujarat Police and the DGP and wrote in the Hindi language, “While Gujarat’s Junagadh is facing flood on one side, some anti-social elements of the city are posting such videos and having the audacity to disturb the peaceful atmosphere of the city and create chaos. Due to such anti-social elements, mutual harmony in the society deteriorates, so you are requested to take immediate action against such radical, separatist people keeping in mind the public sentiments and religious sentiments of Junagadh.”
गुजरात का #जूनागढ़ जहा एक तरफ़ बाढ़ का सामना कर रहा है वही कुछ शहर के असामाजिक तत्व इस तरह के विडियो पोस्ट कर रहे है और शहर का शांतिप्रिय वातावरण बिगाड़ने और अराजकता उत्पन्न करने की धृष्टता कर रहे है।
ऐसे असामाजिक तत्वों के कारण ही समाज में आपसी… pic.twitter.com/IA4d4gSV7h
— Kajal HINDUsthani (@kajal_jaihind) July 24, 2023
Kajal Hindustani shared a sample video depicting the aftermath of heavy rains causing flooding in Junagadh, resulting in significant disruption to public life. This video included provocative statements like ‘Allahu Akbar’ and ‘Shaheed Jung Ali Shah Pir Ka Mazar Demolition, Poore Junagadh Ka Demolition’, insinuating a connection between the flood situation and the demolition of the dargah.
The tweet included a screenshot of a Facebook post by a man named Mohammad Peerzada, where he wrote, “Junagadh mein Ali Shah Pir ki dargah ka demolition kiya gaya tha, aaj Allah ne Junagadh ka hi demolition kar diya,” (meaning: Ali shah Pir’s dargah was demolished in Junagadh, today Allah demolished the entire Junagadh as a punishment) implying that the flood situation in the city is the ‘punishment’ from Allah for the city administration demolishing an illegally built Dargah.
A person named Sheikh Sabir had posted inflammatory words in a Facebook group called ‘Jai Ho Junagadh’. He wrote, “Ali Shah Pir’s dargah in Junagadh was demolished and then the entire Junagadh was cleaned in a few days.” Simultaneously, he asserted that cyclone Biparjoy had unleashed devastation in Jamnagar and Dwarka shortly after the demolition of Mazars and mosques there and the alleged forced eviction of Muslims from Himachal Pradesh. In the end, he wrote, “Would all this have happened according to circumstances or would it be a mysterious sign of nature?”
जुनागढ़ में बाढ़ से हुई तबाही के मंजर का लाभ उठाते हुए तबाही के विडियो के साथ सोशियल मीडिया मे आपत्तिजनक टिप्पणी करके लोगो की भावनाएं भड़काने की कोशिश करनेवाले चारों आरोपियों को पुलिस ने गिरफ्तार कर लिया है
— Nirnay Kapoor (@nirnaykapoor) July 27, 2023
Junagadh police had lodged an FIR taking cognizance of such inflammatory posts. “These users took advantage of such a sensitive atmosphere to mislead the people to protest and disturb the legal action of the administration and made objectionable posts viral on social media with the intention of disturbing national unity and public peace,” it said.
The police had registered a case against all of them under IPC sections 153A (spreading enmity between two communities), 153B (speaking against national unity) and 505(2) (spreading falsehood with intent to cause enmity between different communities). Four persons were arrested today. They have been identified as Shah Rukh, Rafiq, Mohammad Mian Sayyed, and Mohammad Sabir Sheikh. At present, all of them have been arrested and further action is being taken.