Kashmiri Man Arrested In Kolkata Over Inflammatory Facebook Post

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Kolkata: Days after riots broke out in West Bengal’s Baduria, in North 24 Parganas, in July, over a youth’s alleged inflammatory post on Facebook that hurt sentiments of the Muslim minority community, a Kashmiri man staying in Kolkata was detained for a similar cause.

The Kashmiri youth had allegedly posted anti-national remarks on his Facebook wall, the police said on Thursday.

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Arshad in his early 30s, was staying at a guest house in south Kolkata’s Anwar Shah Road area and was detained by the Lake Police Station after local residents complained about his anti-national posts on Facebook, the police said.

“Arshad has been coming to the city for the last 12 years for his garment business. Every time he used to stay at this particular guest house and became friends with some locals who noticed his activities on Facebook and informed us,” a senior officer of Lake Police Station said.

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Arshad’s posts started appearing after India lost to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final in June, he said adding, the youth came to the city a couple of days back, when some local residents caught hold of him and handed him over to the police.

“We are running a check on whether this person has links with any terror outfit or not. We are also scanning his activities on social networking sites,” the officer said.

The Kolkata Police Special Task Force (STF) is also probing the matter, he said.

In contrast, West Bengal’s Basirhat, an area close to the Indo-Bangla border, became a hotbed of communal clashes after the accused had posted objectionable remarks on Facebook on July 2, 2017. Although the accused fled at night, he was later arrested by the police from a paddy field the next morning. The accused was remanded by the Basirhat Sub-Division Court to police custody for four days.

But the public anger continued as many roads were blocked and several houses were torched by the demonstrators. The Centre deployed paramilitary forces while Rapid Action Force (RAF) teams of Kolkata Police tried to bring the violence-hit area under control.

Security forces barred ministers and administrators from entering Basirhat. Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah had constituted a three-member-committee to probe the state of affairs in Basirhat but Central security personnel prohibited them from entering the region as well.

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