PUNE Maharashtra cyber police are on alert following the killing of a pharmacist in Amravati and tailor Kanhaiya Lal in Udaipur for their support of suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma. State Cyber Police identified 17 Sharma-related trends in the past four days, of which action was taken against three.
According to the Maharashtra Cyber Police, these trends aim to disrupt law and order and spread religious hatred and communal discord. While cyber police asked intermediaries to remove all 17 trends, three of them have been removed, Superintendent of Police (SP) of Maharashtra Cyber Cell, Sanjay Shintre has informed.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Shintre said: “Over the past four days, we have identified 17 Sharma-related trends. Immediately after, we began warning intermediaries about the possibility of community discord through such trends. They also responded positively and the removal process was started. ”Shintre further informed that the cyber state police are monitoring all social media posts related to Sharma to prevent the spread of community discord.
The state police have alerted all of their special units to ensure the law and order situation remains in place. “The Maharashtra cyber cell is active every day but for the past four to five days, given these developments, the cyber cell has been very proactive,” Shintre said.
On Monday, police issued an alert after central intelligence agencies shared information about a possible attack on some people in Pune. Police in Pune have asked Anand Dave, chairman of Brahman Mahasangh, to be “careful” while reacting on social media. On Tuesday, Dave confirmed that Pune Police had given him police protection at his residence as well as at the Pune-based office of the Hindu Mahasabha. However, Dave said he was not authorized to speak with media personnel.
The e-Department on Tuesday called on citizens not to share or post anything that could hurt anyone’s religious feelings and disrupt harmony. The Cyber Department has warned that it is closely monitoring cyberspace and will take action against violators.
In May, Sharma made controversial comments about the Prophet Muhammad on a TV show. The remarks were later condemned by the government after prompting angry reactions from Muslim-majority countries in West Asia and Southeast Asia, many of whom also summoned Indian envoys to register their displeasure. The BJP then suspended Sharma and expelled another spokesperson, Naveen Jindal, for the controversial remarks. Sharma faces several FIRs, including one by Delhi police, but has not been arrested.