RAIPUR: A 31-year-old engineering student has been arrested here in Chhattisgarh for allegedly running fake Facebook accounts posing as a woman and posting provocative comments that could hurt social harmony, an official said on Monday.
One of his accounts was in the name of 'Nisha Jindal', which had over 4,000 people in the friends list and 10,000 followers, including businessmen, journalists and policemen.
The accused, Ravi Pujar, was arrested on April 17 from his house in Kabir Nagar area, the police official said.
A 33-year-old Raipur-based businessman, who was following Nisha Jindal since the past couple of months, said the revelation about the fake account came as a shocker to him as he believed it was the profile of an influential woman.
"Messages mentioning meetings with high-profile people like ministers, chief of investigative agencies and foreign delegates were used to be posted on the account, he said.
"The profile was being followed by some prominent persons that made me believe it was genuine," the businessman said on condition of anonymity.
Raipur polices cyber cell started tracking Pujars fake profiles since last month after getting complaints about comments containing divisive and hate contents being posted on them regularly.
"To zero-in on the accused, the police posed as a civilian, sent a friend request to Nisha Jindal and had chats with the accused. After gathering complete details of his modus operandi, we arrested him, said Superintendent of Police (Urla area) Abhishek Maheshwari.
To make aware those following the bogus account, police posted on it a photograph of Pujar with the comment 'I am in police custody, I am Nisha Jindal'.
The accused was pursuing an IT engineering course since 2009 at a private college here and was yet to complete it, the official said.
He created fake account in the name of 'Nisha Jindal' in 2012 using photo of a Pakistani model, and since then was posting comments on communal issues that could potentially hurt the social harmony, he said.
The accused also created five other Facebook profiles with fake identities of women and used to remain active on the social media platform for about 13 to 14 hours in a day, Maheshwari said.
Surprisingly, he has no genuine social medial account in his name, the official said.
To influence the followers, the accused mentioned self as being member of international organisations, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Health Organisation (WHO) and World Trade Organisation (WTO), the official added.