Few months earlier, a Tweet attributed to a separatist leader (who passed away recently) was shared on social media that he had given a shutdown call. Taking cognizance, police initiated investigations and found that it was fake. After this incident police said it is taking action against those who are circulating it to instigate violence. A case under relevant sections of ULA (P) stands registered in Police station Budgam.
Similarly, police filed the FIR after a video that was doing rounds on various social media platforms of separatist which was found fake.
Recently, the Secretary of Srinagar Municipal Corporation was arrested for intimidating social activists, political leaders, government officers and journalists on a website and social media.
These are a few of the examples of how social media is being used by anti-national elements to keep Kashmir on fire.
One of the prime reasons for youth getting radicalized is misuse of social media. There are some social media handles that are operating as part of machination of the process of radicalisation. It is a well orchestrate activity for spreading ideology, wrong interpretation of Islamic teachings, mobilization of young minds for an unlawful cause, spreading rumours and sowing the seeds of victimhood through open use of social media on one hand and planning and coordinating terror acts through secure apps such as Twitter Space and Club House on the other.
Social media, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter is now an indispensable part of professional as well as social life. These networking sites provide not just a wider marketplace for aspiring business people but also serve as a space of entertainment. It helps people to connect with their loved ones or socialise especially in times like that of pandemic to address the boredom of isolation. However, some people including so called intellectuals or handlers on the directives of Pakistan are misusing them to orchestrate trouble in the valley. There are hundreds of cases registered by cyber police related to fake news. There are well established media houses which have their social media platforms operating from Pakistan. If one goes through posts and comments, it becomes clear that many of them have embedded messages for communication to terror operatives.
There have been continuous reports of misuse of social media sites by the miscreants to propagate secessionist ideology and to promote unlawful activities. Social media has remained a favourite tool, which largely provides anonymity to the user and also gives wide reach.
Recently, the Cyber Police Station of Kashmir Zone in Srinagar has lodged an FIR against various social media users who defied the government orders of not indulging on any social media platform.
The social media sites are used by people in Kashmir to propagate radical ideologies and promote unlawful activities.
A recent circular issued by J&K’s General Administration Department has asked all the administrative secretaries, divisional commissioners and heads of departments to get security clearance of government employees from the J&K Police’s criminal investigation department (CID).
The heads of government departments have been asked to provide details of social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc) of employees whose verification has not been carried out.
“Many individuals with dubious character antecedents and conduct have been paid salaries and other allowances, without obtaining their mandatory CID verification,” the GAD circular says.
The step has been taken as it has been found that some government employees have been found indulging in misuse of social media and carrying out anti-national activities.
Soon after the August 5, 2019 move, the Centre asked Twitter to take down some handles that were accused of spreading rumours and misinformation to disturb the peace and calm in the Valley.
On January 14 this year, the Government had issued an order banning all social media sites to curb their misuse by miscreants for propagating false information/rumours. The ban was ordered to stall rumour-mongering and spreading of false/fake news that can cause social instability.
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