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Patiala Incident: Punjab Police Attest 3 For Social Media Reporting & Posts

April 14, 2020 | By

Chandigarh: The Punjab Police on Monday (April 13) announced arrested three persons for their social media posts. They police said that they are arrested for posting “provocative social media messages and promoting religious hatred” in wake of Sunday’s Patiala Sabzi Mandi attack.

Who Are Arrested:

In a written statement issued today, Punjab police announced arrest of (1) Bhupinder Singh s/o Late Jeet Singh r/o Model Town, Hoshiarpur; (2) Davinder Singh s/o Harbans Singh r/o Civil Lines, Batala; and (3) Kuljeet Singh Bhullar s/o Swarn Singh r/o Malout City in Sri. Muktsar Sahib district.

Punjab police chief DGP Dinkar Gupta claimed that trio “were found inciting disharmony communal unrest with their hate messages on the social media”.

Trio Booked Under Three Separate Cases:

Separate FIRs have been registered against all three under Section 115, 153-A, 188, 269, 270, 271 & 505(2) of Indian Penal Code 1860, Section 3 of Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and Section 54 of the National Disaster Management Act 2005.

Bhupinder Singh was Arrested Picked-Up by Police Last Evening:

Bhupinder Singh, a social media journalist who runs Apna Sanjha Punjab (ASP TV) was picked-up by police late Sunday evening.

Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta said that Bhupinder Singh gave an “interview to Apna Sanjha Punjab Facebook TV channel, in which he had defended the Nihang action, but had later removed it”.

The DGP said the police was also examining the legal options for taking action against the FB channel.

Punjab police chief said that other two persons  “had also posted inflammatory and vicious statements on FB, lauding the Nihang action”.

Difference of Reporting by Mainstream Media and Social Media:

It is worth noting that there was a huge difference between the role of mainstream media, whether electronic or online, and social media with regard to reporting on Sunday’s Patiala Sabzi Mandi incident.

Mainstream media’s reporting was totally one-sides and limiting to narrating the official and police version only.

A social media journalist, who has worked with mainstream media channels, expressed her surprise in Facebook status that no one from the mainstream media was even interested in getting the version of the other side (Nihang Singhs).

The incident had evoked mixed reactions over social media– which varied from reporting the people’s version based on statement of residents of Balbera village and pointing critical questions over official version and actions, to even justifying the Nihang Singh’s actions, to criticising Nihang Singhs and supporting the official version.

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