India hunts ‘fake news’ spreaders after anti-Muslim attacks

Published November 8, 2021
A paramilitary soldier patrols past a shop that was set on fire in Rowa village, about 220 kilometers from Agartala, in the northeastern Indian state of Tripura, on Oct 27. — AP/File
A paramilitary soldier patrols past a shop that was set on fire in Rowa village, about 220 kilometers from Agartala, in the northeastern Indian state of Tripura, on Oct 27. — AP/File

NEW DELHI: Indian police are seeking the owners of around 100 social media accounts accused of sharing “fake news” after mob attacks on mosques in the country’s northeast.

Last month’s violence in Tripura state erupted on the sidelines of a rally for hundreds of followers of a right-wing Hindu nationalist group.

The incident appeared to be a revenge attack prompted by the killing of several Hindu worshippers across the border in Muslim-majority Bangladesh.

Four mosques were vandalised and several Muslim-owned homes and businesses were ransacked.

According to police, people aiming to whip up further violence shared misleading images on social media after the incident. “The accounts identified were spreading rumours, fake news, fake videos and fake photographs that were not even linked to Tripura,” a senior police officer said on Sunday.

Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2021

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