It’s an open season for spreading fake news and hatred against the Tablighi Jamaat and the larger Muslim community in the country. In the latest such incident, a man identified as Rajesh Sarang (53) was arrested in Vadodara by the Cybercrime sleuths on Thursday for editing a confidential letter of Ahmedabad Police and saying that Tablighi Jamaat members are spreading coronavirus in the country and that Muslims should be boycotted by Hindus.
On April 1, a purported confidential letter from the special branch of Ahmedabad Police, which originally was meant to warn police stations of a hate message emerged on social media. The letter stated, “2,500 Tablighi Jamaat workers had attended the Nizamuddin Markaz event in Delhi and have been confirmed positive for Coronavirus and the workers have entered various states of India to spread the disease which is a terror act. All Hindu brothers are requested not to buy an fruit or vegetable from Muslim vendors in their respective areas as they might be infected (sic).”
According to officials of the Ahmedabad Cyber Crime Cell, the accused had edited the letter and made it seem that the Police was circulating hate speech against Muslims.
After the letter went viral on social media, Sarang was arrested with the help of the IP address of the device he used to post the edited letter. A resident of Pranav society in Manjalpur of Vadodara, Sarang runs a mobile repair store, according to a TOI report.
He was arrested under Indian Penal Code sections 143, 505 (1) and 505 (2) for provocation of rioting and public mischief, along with sections of the Disaster Management Act.