Pune: The Maharashtra government says it has identified those responsible for posting morphed photos of iconic leaders on Facebook, and has promised arrests. Last week, a 28-year-old Muslim IT worker was beaten to death by a mob after offensive images of Maratha warrior king Shivaji and Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray were circulated on Facebook and WhatsApp.

This weekend, doctored photos of Dr BR Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian Constitution, were circulated on Facebook and WhatsApp. Some shops remained closed yesterday and buses were pelted with stones. (Pune Tense After Facebook Posts About Dr Ambedkar)

Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil today said that the “Facebook case” has been cracked and that all the incendiary images are being posted by the same group. He also said that the Centre has not sought a report on the violence from the state government.

“Anti-social elements are posting inflammatory posts to stroke hatred, bitterness and disharmony between sects,” the minister said, warning that action will be taken not just against those who put up the photos but against others who “like” them on Facebook or forward them.

Last week, Mohsin Shaikh, a young software professional was killed on his way home from dinner in Pune. 17 members of the Hindu Rashtra Sena, a radical right-wing outfit, have been arrested for his murder. (Read More…)The police linked the brutal killing to the tension over the morphed Facebook pictures of Shivaji and Bal Thackeray. Mohsin was not linked to the uploading of the photos, the police has said.

There was trouble again in Pune, Nashik and Kolhapur last night after posts with derogatory references to BR Ambedkar were uploaded on Facebook.

“Those who “like” and forward objectionable content are in a way siding with the culprits and in the next few days, you will see stringent action taken against them,” said Home Minister Patil.

source: times of india