"It's the BAAGHI season. We are #Baaghi against #false & #fake," Delhi police tweeted
The Delhi Police has become "Baaghi (rebel)" – with a major campaign against fake news. Calling it "sweet warning" to those spreading hate, the police said they will trace the culprits and nail them down. "Be a rebel against all networks of false information. Be vigilant against rumour mongers. Let's unite to fight fake," is the tag line of the campaign, which comes days after violence seared Delhi.
The opposition has blamed the four-day violence on hate speeches by a section of BJP leaders in the run-up to the Delhi assembly elections. The police has been hugely criticised by the opposition and the courts for its role in failing to curb the hate speech and the violence, which claimed 48 lives.
On Sunday, rumours on social media about another bout of violence spread panic in Delhi. It took repeated statements and tweets from the police to stabilise the situation.
Today, in a series of tweets, the police said: "It's the BAAGHI season. We are #Baaghi against #false & #fake. Are you? Get ready to be a Baaghi against #FakeNews. Be a rebel against all networks of false information. Be vigilant against rumour mongers. Let's unite to fight fake."
It's the BAAGHI season.
We are #Baaghi against #false & #fake. Are you?
Get ready to be a Baaghi against #FakeNews.
Be a rebel against all networks of false information. Be vigilant against rumour mongers. Let's unite to fight fake.#DelhiPoliceNailsFake@HMOIndia@CPDelhipic.twitter.com/zpcfrm6zHz
– DCP New Delhi (@DCPNewDelhi) March 3, 2020
Not done. You have taken the job of spreading नफ़रत so brazenly.
Rest assured, we are watching you all, and mighty well. While we know some of these are fake IDs, be sure of our capabilities to hunt you down 😎.
Take this as a sweet warning!#DelhiPoliceNailsFake
— DCP East Delhi (@DCPEastDelhi) March 3, 2020
The campaign gains importance as intelligence reports suggest that Pakistan is also trying to push its fake propaganda against India through various social platforms to destabilise law and order situation in Capital following last week's violence in northeast Delhi.
"Baaghi is a campaign which is going to target fake news. We have noticed a pattern of posts which are going viral or start trending some of them have origin across border," a senior police officer said.
Data from intelligence agencies suggest that more than 500 fake accounts have been created on various social media platforms to spread fake news across the country. Intelligence agencies and Cyber Unit of Ministry of Home Affairs confirm that most of them have originated from across the border.
"They post how the police force is committing atrocities on the minority community and via those posts, are trying to create a vitiating atmosphere," a senior government official said.
Over the last week, the Delhi Police has asked various social sites to block more than 70 accounts. The accounts holders were allegedly propagating fake news and fuelling violence in northeast Delhi.
"We are continuously sending requests to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter India to block accounts or to remove content from some posts," a Delhi Police officer said.