Police file complaint against FB page “Mangalore Muslims” for provocative messages

The Facebook page reportedly had posts defending the murder of Bajrang Dal leader Harsha, 28, who was stabbed to death on Sunday.

The administrators of a Facebook page called “Mangalore Muslims” have been arrested by police in Mangaluru, Karnataka, for inciting hatred and violence in the context of the death of a Bajrang Dal leader, aged 28, who was stabbed to death. Reports said the Facebook page contained posts defending Harsha’s death – one post claimed Harsha was “killed” for allegedly “abusing the Prophet Muhammad in 2015”. After members of the Police Commissioner’s Social Media Cell saw the post, the Mangaluru Cyber, Economic and Narcotics Crimes Police filed an FIR against the page’s admins.

According to The Hindu, the Facebook page’s post had called Harsha a “street dog” and the post added that “anyone who insults the Prophet will meet the same fate”. The post also blamed Karnataka Minister KS Eshwarappa for Harsha’s murder.

Police said the Mangalore Muslims page posted provocative messages against Hindutva outfits as well as Hindu leaders to incite and cause social unrest. According to TOI, the police named an individual Mohammed Shafiq, suspected of being the administrator of the page, in the FIR.

Mangaluru Police said they are constantly monitoring social media following Harsha’s death. On Monday, violence erupted during Harsha’s funeral procession which left a photojournalist and a female cop among three injured.

Seegehatti resident Harsha was attacked by a group of strangers at the Bharati settlement in Shivamogga on Sunday evening after which he was taken to McGann Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. Six people have been arrested by police in connection with the murder. Considering the tense situation, the district administration also declared today a public holiday for schools and colleges. Restraining orders under Section 144 of the CrPC are also in effect.

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