Revenge drives man to post ‘pro-Pakistan’ slogans on friend’s Facebook page


Overview

Published: 05/03/2019

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The Ramdurg police have cracked a case of revenge that sought to stoke “nationalist” sentiments, with the arrest of Nagaraj Mali, who had posted “pro-Pakistan” slogans on the social media account of Mohammad Shafi Benne, once a friend and now an enemy of his, to get him on the wrong side of the law.

The police say that Mali had misused Mr. Benne’s account to exact revenge following a financial dispute. Mali is now in custody.

Mr. Benne, a Congress leader from Ramdurg, found out on Friday that there were pro-Pakistan slogans on his Facebook account, though he had not posted them. He went to the police station to complain that his phone may have been hacked.

The police took charge of his phone and registered his complaint. However, by that time, a crowd had gathered before the police station seeking Mr. Benne’s arrest, branding him “anti-national”. Some youth stoned some shops and one person was injured.

Superintendent of Police Sudheer Kumar Reddy said the police saw a possible conspiracy since posts were being added and deleted even when the phone was in the police officer’s hand. Personnel from the cybercrime branch joined the team and an IT expert was summoned. He traced the IP addresses and found that changes in Mr. Benne’s account were not being made from his phone.

While the police investigation was on, BJP MLA Mahadevappa Yadawad criticised the police for not arresting “anti-national elements”. Suresh Angadi, MP, also sat on the steps of the SP’s office in protest against “politicisation” of the police force.

Finally, when the police zeroed in on Mali and interrogated him, he confessed to having posted pro-Pakistan slogans to get Mr. Benne into trouble. Friends had turned foes over a financial issue, said the police.

Mali told officers that he had done it after he got drunk.

He recounted that he had himself created Mr. Benne’s Facebook account and that he had not changed its password since.

Mali logged into Mr. Benne’s account and began posting messages that he knew would make his old friend a villain of the town.

Case registered

The police have booked Mali under various sections, including spreading enmity between communities. Mr. Reddy has issued a general warning to the public to safeguard their online identity and keep changing passwords often. Cases have been registered in Ramdurg police station.

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