Roundup of social media users criticizing the government
Police and other law enforcement agencies in Indian-administered Kashmir have started rounding up social media users for ‘propaganda’ against India.
Law enforcement officials have claimed that some social media users want to harm India globally by posting hostile and hostile content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms.
Police in Indian-administered Kashmir’s Rajouri district on Tuesday arrested a man named Shaukat Hussain. Shaukat is accused of uploading a video on social media which, according to officials, insulted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Police officials claim that the video posted by the accused contained objectionable material about Shaukat, who hails from Mohalla Namb of Dehrian village in Rajouri.
According to police sources, the ‘nation and anti-society’ social media users are being closely monitored and a list of people who have made it a habit to use social media for anti-India propaganda has also been compiled.
A senior official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told VOA that some social media users were running anti-India campaigns as well as inciting Kashmiri youth to violence.
The official added that the matter came up during a recent meeting of senior police officials after which the police cyber cell was directed to take appropriate steps for social media monitoring.
Mention of social media in ‘Core Group’ meeting
The alleged misuse of social media also came to the fore during a recent meeting of the Core Group.
The ‘Core Group’ is a body comprising senior officers of the Indian Army, paramilitary forces, federal police forces, intelligence agencies and the civil administration to consider the security situation in Indian-administered Kashmir and related issues and to formulate necessary strategies. Holds meetings one or more times each month to organize.
The latest meeting of the Corps Group was held over the weekend at the headquarters of the 15th Corps of the Indian Army at Badami Bagh Cantonment in Srinagar. The meeting was co-chaired by Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Deepinder Pratap Pandey and Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police Dilbagh Singh.
According to officials, the main agenda of the meeting, however, was to consider the overall security situation in Indian-administered Kashmir and to review the arrangements for the occasion of India’s Republic Day to be celebrated on January 26. During the meeting, however, participants expressed concern over the “challenge posed by the integrated chain of propaganda” via the Internet and social media.
A statement issued after the meeting said that social media was being used extensively to spread “misinformation” which needed a concerted effort to root out.
Pakistan is home to anti-India propaganda
It may be recalled that the Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had recently blocked 35 more YouTube channels, two websites and five social media accounts in the country. Officials had said that these channels and accounts were being run from Pakistan and their purpose. Anti-India propaganda is to be spread through fake material but Pakistan has been denying these allegations.
Earlier, in December 2021, the government blocked 20 YouTube channels and two websites that officials said were spreading “fake news”.
On January 19, Anurag Thackeray, India’s federal minister for information and broadcasting, warned that the government would continue to crack down on those he said were conspiring against the country. He had said that in future also action would be taken to block any account which was found to be involved in conspiracy against India.
‘Government suffers from insecurity’
Critics say the government and its affiliates are wary of voices on social media against measures aimed at stifling dissent.
Analyst Professor Sheikh Shaukat Hussain says “the government seems to have a sense of insecurity. The recent steps taken by it are a reflection of that.”
He said that after the abolition of constitutional semi-autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019, it was said that this move had completely ended the ongoing resistance in Kashmir. Now apparently everything is banned including mainstream media, social media was the only platform where some young people were expressing their views but now the government wants to ban it too.
Advising the ruling circles to learn a lesson from history, Prof. Sheikh Shaukat said that Indira Gandhi had also declared emergency in the country to suppress the resistance but only two years later, in 1977, she and her Congress party had learned a lesson from the general elections. I had to deal with a nosebleed.
He added: “It has been observed that stability in the world has remained where there was complete freedom of expression and people were given ample opportunity to express their views. Bullying, coercion and restrictions on freedom of expression have always been detrimental. People in Kashmir who are thinking like this should be aware of this. “