Govt lays hands on Facebook users

E-CRACKDOWN

SAMAAN LATEEF

Srinagar, July 11: The state government is now seeing social networking websites ‘a major threat to the public order’ and has reportedly summoned several youth in Kashmir besides booking Mirwaiz South Kashmir, Qazi Yasir, under Public Safety Act for ‘instigating violence and justifying stone-pelting through Facebook.’
 Amid complete media shutdown for nearly four days, the people, mostly youngsters, were left with the only option of reaching to the world through social networking sites including Facebook, Twitter and Orkut to disseminate information regarding the ongoing situation in the Valley. They are uploading videos and pictures of police and centre paramilitary force’s action on stone pelters, hosting blogs and posting comments of current situation on these websites. However, state government has kept the users under scanner and has allegedly summoned several youth in South Kashmir’s Islamabad district to police stations.
 A group of Facebook users told Greater Kashmir that police have asked them to report to the police stations for ‘using social network sites to instigate youth for stone pelting and disturbing public order.’ A Facebook user said he had been asked to report to the police station Saddar, Islamabad, for uploading a video on Facebook showing the incident of killing of three boys by police in SK colony of the town. Besides, he has been asked to report for posting remarks against local police, he said. 
 Another Facebook user of Islamabad said, “On Saturday I got a call from police personnel who asked me to report to police station Saddar for being active on Facebook.” Police personnel told that an FIR has been lodged in Saddar police station against me on charges for instigating public for stone pelting and posting anti-national remarks, the user said.
 Cyberspace has become the best medium to reach to the world about the happenings in the valley. Most of the users have also changed their profile pictures and uploaded a poster which reads ‘I PROTEST.’
 However, police denied that they have summoned any person for ‘instigating violence’ on Facebook. “They must be involved in some criminal case and that is why they have been asked to report to the police station,” the Senior Superintendent of Police, Islamabad, Showkat Malik said.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 11 Jul 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 11 Jul 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 12 Jul 2010 00:00:00 IST




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