Social media post triggers row in Satara

Comments by two youths from a community triggered communal clashes

MUMBAI: Internet services were shut down in Satara as a precautionary measure after stone-pelting and incidents of arson were triggered by an “objectionable” social media status. Several people were injured in the clashes. According to the police, an objectionable post and comments by two youths from a community triggered communal clashes.

The violence started at around 8 pm at Pusesavali village over the controversial posts. Shops and houses were set on fire while a place of worship was also attacked before the police moved in to bring the situation under control.

The police said that there was no untoward incident in the village after midnight. However, Satara district collector Jitendra Dudi ordered a shutdown of the internet and imposed Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which does not allow the assembly of more than four people, throughout the district as precautionary measures.

Satara Superintendent of Police (SP) Samir Shaikh said, “The situation is under control. Steps have been taken to ensure that objectionable social media messages being circulated online are brought to the police’s notice immediately.”

According to reports, a mob of around 1,000 people went berserk in protest of the “objectionable” social media posts and targeted houses, shops, and handcarts in a particular locality. A statement issued by the Satara police said, “An incident involving an objectionable status message uploaded on social media on Sunday. The citizens misunderstood the message as communal, posing a law-and-order situation on the ground.”

The police have registered two cases — one in connection with the social media status under Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 295 (promoting enmity between two communities) and the second case related to rioting and destruction of public property.

The police have removed the relevant social media posts from all social media platforms. Further investigations are underway into the matter.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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