When the country was celebrating Eid on Saturday, a mob allegedly tried to attack a man in Surat for sharing a message on messaging platform WhatsApp which ‘hurt’ religious sentiments of minority community. A mob reportedly gathered outside the textile factory where the man, identified as Ram Gopal, worked and police had to resort to lathi-charge and firing a round in the air. Ram Gopal was critically injured along with more than five police officers.
As per police, Ram Gopal forwarded ‘objectionable’ message on WhatsApp which hurt sentiments of ‘minority community’ and the angered mob then took to violence. This is not the first time message circulated on social media has led to violence. A transgender person who came to Hyderabad to earn some money during Ramzan was lynched by a mob after he was mistaken to be a child lifter over rumours spread through WhatsApp. Earlier in May, child trafficking rumours circulated via WhatsApp led to lynchings and violent rage in Tamil Nadu.
In fact, so much is the menace of fake and inflammatory news being circulated on WhatsApp that the Indian Army, in March, released a couple of videos advising the Indian people on the responsible and safe use of social media.