February 2020 News

Kashmir Man Arrested For Fake FB Post, Ban On Social Media Flouted By Miscreants Say Cops

20 February 2020
The Hindustan Times
Ashq Hussain

Srinagar: A Kashmir youth had uploaded fake photographs on Facebook accusing security forces of vandalism in north Kashmir last year was arrested in Srinagar on Thursday amid rising concerns over the continued use of social media to fan militancy in the valley despite a government ban. Imtiyaz Ahmad Kawa, a resident of Saida Kadal in Srinagar city, was arrested for rumour mongering by Kupwara police from his home. Senior Superintendent of Police, Kupwara, Ambarkar Shriram Dinkar said Kawa had uploaded a false Facebook post last year alleging security forces had damaged property worth lakhs in Kupwara. 'Some months ago, he updated his status falsely depicting that govt. forces had gone berserk in Panzgam area of district Kupwara and damaged the property worth lakhs,' Dinkar said. Kawa's intention was to disrupt peace said the police officer. 'The motive of the rumour monger was to malign the image of the forces in public and also to disrupt peace and tranquility in the area,' he said. Kawa was absconding ever since and a couple of attempts to arrest him earlier did not succeed. The accused has been lodged in Sub Jail Kupwara on judicial remand. Kawa's arrest comes amid rising concerns that trouble makers were going around the ban imposed on use of social media sites to fan trouble in the region. On Monday, Jammu and Kashmir's Cyber Police Station had registered a general FIR for the alleged misuse of social media platforms using virtual private networks (VPNs). Social media has been banned in Jammu and Kashmir after low-speed mobile internet was restored on January 25 more than five months after curbs on communication were placed following the revocation of J&K's special status and its bifurcation on August 5. Director General of Police, Dilbag Singh said yesterday that those using VPNs for misuse of social media were being apprehended. Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar had added that many miscreants were using social media to flare up trouble. 'Some miscreants are spreading rumours, instigating people and some are even facilitating militants to throw grenades and set fire to particular places. We have proof of that,' he said.