On Monday, the Cyberabad Cyber Crime Police registered an FIR against Retd Major Neelam Singh (Twitter handle:@theskindoctor13) for allegedly sharing "fake news" on social media platforms with the "intention of disrupting communal harmony".
Singh's post was a photoshopped image of a newspaper clipping with the headline "Cyberabad police bans the sale of oranges in the city". The clipping also featured a photograph of police officials, including Commissioner VC Sajjanar at a press conference with oranges on their desk.
Neelam Singh said, "Cyberabad police has filed a case against me for a satire. A satire they perceived as "fake news" despite a disclaimer. How absurd it is!"
Pratik Sinha, founder of AltNews, posted the screenshot of the tweet and wrote, "This is @theskindoctor13's tweet. At the bottom right, it was clearly marked as satire. The newspaper's name was morphed to indicate that it's not real, and the language (UNESCO has declared..) also indicated it's satire. @cyberabadpolice should consider withdrawing the FIR."
Neelam Singh, meanwhile, requested for help. He wrote, "Any lawyer friend who can help me with this? Also, one more request. If anyone can find out the FIR number so that I can proceed accordingly."
BJP leader Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga addressed the tweet and responded, "Will arrange everything, don't worry."
Later, #WeStandWithSkinDoctor began trending on Twitter. Here are some of the Twitter reactions:
Meanwhile, Neelam Singh was overwhelmed with the support he has received. He wrote, "Many people reached out to me. Many are helping me with this case. I'll thank them individually soon."
"Overwhelmed with the support. We might have differences & fights but in the hour of trouble, we're a family. Thank you RW for trending #WeStandWithSkinDoctor at no 1 in India," he added.