Hyderabad: The social media machinery of the Telangana State Police is up against one Twitter handle, apparently based in Pakistan and spewing venom against India and Telangana in particular, in the form of malicious and false tweets.
The handle, @Faizan-E-Madina, which is regularly posting anti-India content, intensified its hate campaign on Independence Day with a tweet, along with pictures, stating that a village of a particular community was attacked by an organisation with different religious leanings in Telangana and that many houses were burnt. There were also reports, it said, of a prominent political leader from the city being injured.
Factly, a Hyderabad-based data journalism and public information portal, ran the images through Google Reverse Image Search and found that one of these was uploaded on Adobe Stock by a Reuters photographer in 2017. It was from a rally in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh. The second one was published by Outlook magazine in December 2006, and taken in Mangaluru, Karnataka, proving that the images were purposefully tweeted with malicious intent.
There were several more tweets from the same handle in similar malevolent vein, saying political leaders of a community were being arrested in Hyderabad, that eight girls from a community were kidnapped, raped and murdered, an actress was about to be arrested for talking about Kashmir, so on and so forth.
Several of the tweets mentioned Telangana, Hyderabad and even the ruling party, while the truth was that there were no communal skirmishes in the State in the last five years. The tweets first prompted the Cyberabad Police to react, stating that the images and news were false and fabricated, and that such incidents did not happened anywhere in Telangana.
Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar tweeted that no such incident took place anywhere in the city or in Telangana and that miscreants clubbed unrelated photos to create fake news, which was liable for punishment. There were many Twitter users too, who demanded that the account be suspended and such malicious use of social media be stopped.
An unmindful act of forwarding a fake news or videos brings a law abiding citizen into unnecessary fear. It is also a crime in the eyes of law.
All WhatsApp group administrators are liable for legal action for forwarding such videos which affects communal harmony.
— Anjani Kumar, IPS (@CPHydCity) August 17, 2019
Telangana DGP M Mahender Reddy too tweeted later that “miscreants with an intention to create fear in the minds of people and to destabilise communal harmony in the society” were spreading rumours and misinformation on social media.
@hydcitypolice @cyberabadpolice @RachakondaCop @cpwrlc @cpkarimnagar @cp_nizamabad @cpramagundam @MBNRpolice @Vikarabadpolice @spmedak @spsangareddy @sp_kamareddy @spbhoopalpalli https://t.co/NpDnuYxQBr pic.twitter.com/wvRHIJm1sP
— DGP TELANGANA POLICE (@TelanganaDGP) August 17, 2019
The handle, which shows its location as Pakistan, has been active since June 2011, and has nearly 17,000 followers. With the Cybercrime wing here reporting the handle to Twitter, it remains to be seen how the micro-blogging site reacts.