Two days after the Supreme Court delivered its verdict on the disputed site at Ayodhya, the Uttar Pradesh police have arrested 77 people across the state for posting “offensive” content on social media platforms regarding the verdict, the police said on Sunday.
The police added that the people were arrested under 34 cases of making provocative social media posts or attempting to breach peace across 75 districts in the state.
“Action was taken against 8,275 social media posts on various platforms in the past 48 hours,” said Inspector General (IG) of Police (Law and Order) Praveen Kumar. He said the action included registration of cases, removal of content by users themselves and getting the profile of users blocked.
Out of a total 34 FIRs, 22 were lodged on November 10, while 12 were registered on November 9, as per reports. The districts where multiple cases were registered included Gorakhpur, Kanpur, Kannauj, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Bijnore, Ferozabad, Lucknow, Rae Bareli, Bareilly, Unnao, Barabanki and Prayagraj, Kumar was quoted as saying.
Also read: Ayodhya Verdict: Just or Majoritarian?
The police had issued repeated appeals to refrain from posting messages, pictures and other content that could be communally disruptive. The DGP of Uttar Pradesh, OP Singh, had earlier stated that those found posting objectionable posts on social media platforms will be dealt strictly and that National Security Act (NSA) could also be slapped on the culprits if needed.
The state government has already ordered all schools to remain shut in the state till November 11. All academic activities were also suspended at the Aligarh Muslim University.
Meanwhile, suspension of internet services continued in several places in Uttar Pradesh such as Ayodhya, Agra, Meerut, Varanasi and Rampur. There has been no report of any untoward incident from anywhere in the country, officials said.
As per police data, action was taken against 2,869 posts on Twitter since Saturday. A total of 1,355 posts on Facebook and 98 videos and profiles on YouTube were also flagged.
“The monitoring of offensive posts and videos on social media and action against them will continue,” the police said. DGP O.P. Singh on Saturday hailed the people of Uttar Pradesh for showing restraint and managing to keep the state “totally peaceful”.
Meanwhile, two people were arrested in Gautam Buddh Nagar on Sunday for allegedly posting malicious content on social media related to the Supreme Court's verdict in the Ayodhya land dispute case, the police have said. One of them was arrested from Shahpur village in Noida, while the other was held from Dankaur in Greater Noida. The accused have been booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and 506 (criminal intimidation), according to the police.
On Saturday, November 9, the apex court had ordered the Centre to form a trust for constructing a temple at the disputed site at Ayodhya and allot an alternative 5-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a new mosque at an alternative place.