Delhi police battling with fake posts on social media

New Delhi: The anti-citizenship amendment act (CAA) agitations have died down in Delhi except for some stray protests but Delhi Police is worried over the possible violence again because of the fake posts on the social media and WhatsApp groups.

A rattled Delhi Police Commissioner has taken the threat from the fake posts "very seriously" and for the first time a crack cyber team has been assembled to register cases under the Information Technology Act.

It is also identifying those creating and spreading these instigating contents to let the local police stations approach them.

South-East DCP Chinmoy Biswal said: "The emerging rumour machinery has become a big challenge in maintaining law and order.

Rumours are always fueled for vested interests. Those who don't want peace or want communal tension become hyper active and misuse the situation."

In normal times, the police has been letting off the rumour mongers with warning but the crack team has been asked not to spare them this time as action will be taken against each one of them.

Biswal mentioned an image of a man in jeans, T-shirt and protective gear wielding sticks on the anti-CAA protesters in the Jamia university area that went viral on Facebook and Twitter describing him as RSS-ABVP member Bharat Sharma. He was actually Delhi Police constable ARvind who was deployed near New Friends Colony that day to control the Jamia protesters.

The Police issued clarification in the regular media as well as on social media. However, two days after the clarification a Jamia student asked the DCP why members of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a student wing of RSS, are included in the police force against the protesters. Biswal said a team has been formed to search for key words on the social media, though it is a very time consuming.

"Post-incident handling is a bigger challenge. Now everyone has the Internet. It is so each for people to create fake accounts and post anything. It becomes challenging to filter facts from fiction. by the time we control one, another rumour crops up," he said.

Delhi Police spokesman M S Randhawa said social media's reach, speed and lack of accountability have posed a major challenge as at times police is unaware of many rumours and police becomes busy in managing the ground situation caused by these rumours. By the time the cyber unit checks facts, the damage is already done, he underlined.

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