Mumbai: A special report submitted by the Maharashtra Cyber Cell to the State home department in connection with the recent protests over the Tripura communal conflagration states that fake news shared on social media was responsible for the acts of violence in some areas of Maharashtra.
The report states that the Maharashtra Cyber Cell came across 36 social media posts which had spread misinformation -- 25 on Twitter, six on Facebook and five on Instagram -- which were taken note of across the state.
The report submitted to the home department on Wednesday mentioned that of these 36 social media posts, 25 were posted from within the jurisdiction of the Mumbai Police Commissionerate. Another seven were posted from within the jurisdiction of Amravati Police Commissionerate; while the rest emanated from Nashik rural, Nanded and Kolhapur commissionerates, among others.
A senior state cyber official said that the posts containing misinformation, fake news and videos of violence were shared extensively on social media. Soon after the mess was unearthed, on November 12, stone-pelting took place during the rallies taken out by some Muslim organisations in Maharashtra in protest against the purported communal violence in Tripura. The incidents mainly occurred in Amravati, Malegaon and Nanded city.
At least ten police personnel, including three officers, were injured in Malegaon. In Nanded city, eight police personnel had sustained injuries while the mob had damaged four police vehicles. In Amravati, over 8,000 people had gathered outside the district collector's office last week to submit a memorandum demanding that atrocities against the minority community be stopped, wherein people resorted to stone-pelting.
In view of the rising violence, a four-day curfew was imposed in Amravati from November 13-16 which has been extended till next week with periods of relaxation.
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