Gujarat lawyer, Mumbai girl get death threats over social media statuses supporting Nupur Sharma

A First Information Report was registered against an unidentified person under IPC section 507 (criminal intimidation by anonymous communication) at Sabarmati police station here on Tuesday.

Published: 07th July 2022 10:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th July 2022 01:26 PM   |  A+A-


Suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma (Photo | PTI)


AHMEDABAD: A lawyer has approached police here after allegedly receiving a death threat over a WhatsApp status message supporting suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, police said on Wednesday.

A First Information Report was registered against an unidentified person under IPC section 507 (criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication) at Sabarmati police station here on Tuesday.

"Preliminary investigation revealed that the person who called the lawyer (and threatened him) is a native of Kutch district. We have sent our teams to nab him," said police inspector R S Thakar.

According to the FIR, the complainant uploaded a status message with Nupur Sharma's photo on June 13 as she was getting rape threats following her controversial remarks about Prophet Mohammad.

Though he took down the status message within three minutes thinking that his Muslim friends would not like it, a person sent him a message on the same day asking why he was supporting Sharma, he told police.

When he blocked the number, an unidentified man called him and threatened to kill him, the FIR said.

The complainant initially did not inform police about the threat, but later had a rethink in view of "incidents in Rajasthan and Maharashtra" (where two people were killed for allegedly supporting the suspended BJP leader), the FIR stated.

Police have arrested a 25-year-old man from Mumbai's suburb of Bandra over his tweets that were deemed offensive and intended to promote enmity between different groups, an official said on Wednesday.

The accused, Rizwan Toufique Rahman Shaikh, a resident of K C Marg in Bandra (West), was apprehended by the Unit -9 of the Mumbai crime branch on Tuesday night, he said.

Officials of the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU), which monitors the social media content, had noticed that one Twitter handle @RizwanS65688516 had posted objectionable messages, the official said.

Crime branch officials have been closely monitoring various social media platforms after suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma's controversial remarks against Prophet Mohammad in May and the recent murder of a tailor at Udaipur in Rajasthan, he said.

While monitoring the specific handle, CIU officials found the account holder had warned people not to speak against Islam and referred to the consequences faced by the Udaipur tailor, Kanhaiya Lal, who was headed by two men over a social media post, the official said.

After observing these tweets and some retweets, the CIU officials filed a complaint against an unidentified social media user at the Azad Maidan Police Station in South Mumbai, he said.

Accordingly, an FIR under sections 153(A) (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 295 (A) (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage reli­gious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli­gious beliefs) of the IPC was registered.

With the help of technical inputs, the crime branch traced the location of the Twitter account holder and subsequently nabbed Shaikh, he said.

After interrogation, he was placed under arrest and produced before a local court which sent him in police custody till Friday, the official said, adding further probe was on.

Mumbai police have registered an offence against an unidentified person for allegedly threatening to kill a 16-year-old city-based girl over her Facebook post on the murder of tailor Kanhaiya Lal in Rajasthan's Udaipur, an official said on Wednesday.

The girl, a resident of Girgaon in south Mumbai, lodged a complaint at V P Road police station in this connection, he said.

"The girl had made some remarks over the killing of Kanhaiya Lal on her Facebook wall. After that, an unidentified person made a WhatsApp call to her and threatened to kill her for her comments in the post," the official said.

"Based on her complaint, an offence was registered against the unidentified person for threatening to kill her," he said, adding that a probe is underway.

Kanhaiya Lal was murdered at his shop in Rajasthan's Udaipur city on June 28 for posting a message on social media supporting Nupur Sharma, who has been suspended by the BJP for making controversial comments about Prophet Mohammad.

A week before that - on June 21 - chemist Umesh Kolhe was killed in Maharashtra's Amravati city for the same reason, officials have said.

Police in Haryana's Mewat are looking into a video clip in which a man declares a "reward" of Rs 2 crore for slitting the tongue of Sharma for her remark.

"The matter has just reached us. We are investigating to identify the accused. We appeal to people to not spread such videos and communal content," said Nuh Superintendent of Police Varun Singla.

The viral video showed a man, asking a YouTuber to cut Sharma's tongue and get the reward on behalf of the entire Mewat.

"Get her tongue and take Rs 2 crore. Do it and take money right now," the man is seen saying in the video.


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