The ongoing investigation of Mewat riots has brought forth Pakistani connection in allegedly instigating the violence.
Around a dozen social media groups traced to Pakistan have come on police radar during investigations for allegedly playing a pivotal role in Mewat clashes. The groups are being run on social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and Telegram and have thousands of followers from across the Mewat region of Haryana, UP and Rajasthan.
These groups are allegedly professing hatred through daily broadcasts. The groups not just instigated mobsters to ‘give it all’ for the community during riots but were flooded with celebratory messages after the attack. Majority of accused nabbed have been found to be active members of these groups.
Amongst a dozen, was a YouTube account by the name of “Ahsan Mewati Pakistani”. His videos were specifically crafted using social media feeds that were making rounds on social media on July 31 when the riots started in Nuh district of Mewat. In response to complaints against this channel it has been taken down by YouTube. The now-removed YouTube channel, with 273 videos and 80,000 followers, was dedicated to spreading misinformation and promoting violence during the recent Haryana communal unrest.
“Yes there we have social media accounts being run from Pakistan under scanner for instigating the flare up in Nuh. Though majority chats or broadcasts have been deleted, we are trying to retrieve it. We have even recovered videos of clashes from these accounts which helped us identify the accused,” said Nuh SP Narendra Bijarnia.
The accounts are under the radar of National security agencies also. Rajasthan police too on an alert are probing similar accounts with numerous followers in districts of Alwar and Bharatpur.
It may be noted that around 40 voice messages shared in groups are being probed by the cyber cell where the mob was instigated by local leaders to attack and kill. One of the 2 minutes 50 seconds audio clip that has gone viral reveals a local leader asking a mob to attack Nalhar temple.
“Meos are not a community of cowards and this is the time to prove it. They are 200 here right now, at least kill 20 to teach a lesson and create impact. Gather all at Shingaar temple. Get out of attachments with your family, money, children etc as one day everybody has to die, so die for your community. Don’t shoot any videos while attacking. Video addiction is a major problem with you people,” one of the voice messages posted on a group said.
Before the government could shut down the Internet, videos of cars and their locations were shared in WhatsApp groups asking local mobsters to gather, intercept and attack. There were voice messages asking mobsters to cover faces and ensure they are not captured in any video
Many WhatsApp groups were in fact created that very same day and accused were part of these. The messages had been deleted but the cyber cell with help of experts is recovering the same.
(This article was first published in India Narrative)