Strong action against cybercrime; misogyny & spread of hate won’t be tolerated: Anil Deshmukh

Anil Deshmukh

Mumbai : “This is a land that prides itself on the legacy of Savitribai Phule. It is unthinkable that any woman feels unsafe here,” said Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh. He was reacting to questions about the the Tik-tok videos glorifying acid attacks & rape which have created huge outrage. “The safety of women will always be top priority for my ministry,” he averred.

The Home Minister also said that he had specifically ordered swift and sharp action against antisocial elements indulging in cyber crime. “We will henceforth send them notices under CrPC Sec 149 too so that action can be initiated under that section too,” he informed.

He expressed his ire against those using the current Corona pandemic and the resultant lockdown as a ruse. “The Maharashtra Cyber Cell is working in close coordination with all the police commissionerates and district police administrations to charge and snare such cyber criminals. They are keeping a very minute lookout on social media platforms like Tik-tok, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to look for instances of criminal conduct,” he said.

He further congratulated the Maharashtra Cyber Cell for its “exemplary work” during the lockdown and pointed out how 400 cyber crime offences have been registered, since the lockdown, across police stations in the state till May 19, 2020.

An analysis of all these crimes by the cyber cell has shown that 170 of these are related to forwarding offensive WhatsApp messages, 158 are related to sharing offensive Facebook content, 18 are related to offensive videos being shared on Tik-tok, seven are related to offensive posts on Twitter, four are related to offensive posts on Instagram and 43 are related to the abuse of other social media platforms like YouTube and audio clips. As many as 213 have been arrested and 102 such posts have been successfully taken down.

The lockdown has seen a spurt in cybercrime related to both the lockdown itself and the Corona pandemic informed the Home Minister. “This predominantly involves inciteful Tik-tok videos, attributing communal connections to the Corona contagion, revealing names of Corona patients, putting up wrong/false photos/posts about political leaders, using slanderous language to make attacks of a personal nature, swindling citizens financially, etc.” Deshmukh informed and said, “I have told the Cyber Cell to go after these criminals on a war footing.”

He also asked social media platforms like Tik-tok, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc which operate in India to act against misogynist and communal content which destroys the social fabric and harmony. “They should weed out all such offensive content and ban such offenders for life,” he advised and added, “We will reach out to these platforms’ India representatives if needed on this issue.”