The Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the special investigation agency of the Karnataka Police, has taken over the probe of 'Mangalore Muslims' Facebook page case, on which posts surfaced celebrating the murder of Bjarnag Dal activist Harsha in Shivamogga district last month.
The decision to transfer the case to CID was taken after considering the law and order implications and the involvement of individuals in other states and other countries. The CID will have no jurisdictional issues as well as it will have infrastructure to deal with the case.
The miscreants had also posted threatening messages to a news anchor and made a derogatory statement against a sitting state minister. The posts have gone viral and post Harsha murder, the messages raised tensions all over the state. The local Cyber, Economics and Narcotics Crimes (CEN) police filed a case in this connection.
The local police have sought details from Facebook regarding the page. The police department had taken two police constables into custody for liking the page and later released them. The case was also booked against the 'Mangaluru Muslims Page' in 2016 for posting derogatory messages on Goddess Kateel Sridevi. Then, the police approached the Mumbai office of Facebook and after getting consent from the court, the page was blocked.
The miscreants have changed the name of the page from Mangaluru Muslims to Mangalore Muslims and continued to post objectionable posts. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Hariram Shankar has confirmed that the case has been handed over to CID.
Karnataka Police have established a social media monitoring center at the Mangaluru Police Commissioner's office to monitor social media posts and accounts which cause disharmony, provoke people in the society in coastal Karnataka region.
The cell has taken shape in the backdrop of hijab row, which has led to publish provoking messages causing communal disharmony, especially in the communally sensitive coastal region comprising Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada and Udupi districts with focus to Mangaluru city.
The cell is already monitoring more than 1,000 social media accounts belonging to various religious, student, labour and political organisations. Further investigation is on.