Crowd damages public property in Khar, Bandra areas
More than 200 people damaged public property and indulged in rioting in the suburban areas of Khar and Bandra here late on Monday night, protesting a derogatory page on Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar on the social networking site, Facebook.
The police resorted to lathicharge to disperse the rioters, K.M.M. Prasanna, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone IX, told The Hindu.
Mr. Prasanna said an offence was registered in the Khar police station against unknown persons who created the ‘I hate Ambedkar’ profile. Two separate cases of rioting have also been registered.
“We also approached the court today [Tuesday] to direct a competent authority to take action for blocking the derogatory page,” he said.
He said the court issued an order to the Director, Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Government of India, in the matter.
“The court said that the contents of the webpage were grossly offensive and may cause a law and order situation. It directed the authorities to take immediate steps with the Chief Technical Officer of Facebook, U.S., for blocking or deleting the page,” he said.
Elaborating on the way the events unfolded, he said a local Marathi newspaper Loknayak carried an article on Monday stating that a “Punjabi munda had opened a page on Facebook and given a distorted profile of Mr. Ambedkar.”
“At around midnight, more than 200 people gathered outside Khar police station. A delegation demanded that we register a complaint and immediately arrest the person who has opened the page. They also demanded that the website be blocked immediately,” Mr. Prasanna said.
He said that by the time they could look into it, the crowd started rioting, shouting slogans, and pelting stones. “They blocked S.V. Road, Linking Road. Many of them were drunk. There were many women too among the protesters. We resorted to lathicharge. But after we dispersed them, they damaged around 20 vehicles in the area,” he said.
Regarding the page on Dr. Ambedkar, a case has been registered under Sections 295, 153, 505 of the Indian Penal Code read with section 66 (a,b) of the IT Act, he said.