Days after objectionable Facebook posts triggered tension in the Old City of Hyderabad, the police organised a meeting with local religious leaders on Saturday to resolve the situation, and urged the youth in the city not to share polarising content on social media.
Tensions grew in the area last week after objectionable images of the holy city of Makkah appeared on Facebook.
A group of people gathered near the office of the Santoshnagar Assistant Commissioner of Police on November 13 to lodge a complaint regarding the images. However, following a delay in filing the FIR, on November 14, a group of people staged a protest in parts of the Old City, demanding the arrest of Vijay Kumar Kanhaiya, who had allegedly posted the objectionable images.
Marching from Eidi Bazaar to Charminar, protestors shouted slogans and forced shopkeepers in the area to down their shutters.
The following day, the South Zone (SZ) police also booked criminal cases against four persons for "instigating" protests. Cases were registered under Sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 188 (disobedience of order duly promulgated by public servant) against Mohammed Habeeb, a Majlis Bachao Tahreek worker, as well as Mohammed Ashfaq, Shoeb and Mahmood.
â€œThe matter is under investigation. We are going to come down heavily on those who want to disturb peace and tranquility of the area in the name of protest using social media posts as an excuse," Deputy Commissioner of Police (SZ), V Satyanarayana told Times of India.
In the meeting on Saturday, which came nearly a week after the protest, M Mahendar Reddy, City Police Commissioner told those present that while the police were being vigilant and was doing all it could to stop the spread of objectionable content on social media platforms, they faced issues of jurisdiction where objectionable content originated from outside the country.
Also speaking at the event, Mufti Khaleel Ahmed of the Jamia Nizamia seminary, urged people not to let trouble makers provoke unrest and play into the hands of troublemakers.