The Cyberabad Police on Monday booked a retired Major of the Army for allegedly posting fake news on a social media platform with the ‘intention of disrupting communal harmony’.
The Cyber Crime Police noticed that Twitter account holder "theskindoctor13" created a fake news article by editing an old news report in an English daily as 'Cyberabad Police Bans sale of Oranges in the City', an official release said.
The Twitter account holder also attached a morphed photo of senior police officers of the Cyberabad Police Commissionerate with the fake news, it said. 'In the fake news/article it was mentioned that to boost secularism to the hilt, Cyberabad police banned the display, sale and consumption of Oranges in the City as the saffron colour of oranges is hurting the religious sentiments,' the release said.
As the post is likely to promote enmity between different religions and prejudicial to the maintenance of communal harmony, a criminal case was registered against the retired army Major for posting the fake news, the Cyberabad Police said. Cyberabad is one of the three Police Commissionerates covering Hyderabad and its adjoining areas.
According to a report by a news daily, the same user owns two Twitter and, two Instagram handles as well. Commissioner Sajjanar told the daily that the accused named Major Neel Chaudhary (retd) has been traced to Chandigarh and is yet to be contacted.
Meanwhile, the ‘Skin Doctor’ on Tuesday in a tweet wrote, “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! 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.”
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!— THE SKIN DOCTOR (@theskindoctor13) April 28, 2020
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 responded to the tweet by writing, "File Online complaint on ur state police website and send copy. Will arrange everything, don't worry."
Will arrange everything, don't worry— Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga (@TajinderBagga) April 28, 2020
BJP National Executive member and chief of party's Hyderabad unit N Ramchander Rao has also come out in support of "The Skin Doctor" and has requested the Telangana DGP to withdraw the case.
Filing of FIR Against a retired Major @theskindoctor13 for a tweet which was Humorous Artistic expression is infringing Article 19 of our constitution and also over reaction by @cyberabadpolice while there is neither Hate nor Fake his tweet. Request @TelanganaDGP to withdraw case pic.twitter.com/2OGwIJ7Cjx— N Ramchander Rao (@RaoMlc) April 28, 2020
(with PTI inputs)