FB post lands Teenagers in Jail, leads to communal riots in Jharkhand

FB post lands Teenagers in Jail, leads to communal riots in Jharkhand

Social media created havoc in the Jharkhand town of Bermo, nearly 15 kilometres away from the city of Bokaro. Sharing a Post on FB leads to Communal riots and arrest of two teenagers.

According to reports, two teenagers, one reportedly minor, had shared and commented on a post allegedly disrespecting Goddess Durga. This led to destructive communal clashes after hardline Hindu groups spotted the post on Facebook.

The accused has been identified as 19-year-old, Adil Akhtar, son of Mohammed Enamul Haq, who runs battery-charging shop in the town, while the details of other minor have not been released by Bermo police.

Adil had shared a post by one of his Facebook friends, an acquaintance and a distant relative commented on it and deleted it when someone reacted angrily to his comment. But was it grave enough to land Adil, his Facebook friend and many others in jail, set a town on fire and sharpen suspicions between two communities.

Adil and his Facebook friend, a minor, are under arrest for allegedly hurting religious sentiments, a non-bailable and non-compoundable offence, besides being charged under the Information Technology Act. Police have also arrested at least 22 others from Bermo for rioting and arson. Some of the accused are still absconding.

On March 15, the Bermo police station registered a written complaint against Adil and the minor for sharing and commenting on the post. It’s still not clear who first posted the message. Police called the minor’s family, who lives in a locality in Bermo, and asked the boy to appear before them. Police say that on March 16, when the boy was on his way to the station, a mob allegedly tried to beat him.

According to the IE, the mob, angry that the police hadn’t handed over the boy to them, resorted to stone-pelting and arson in Kargili Bazar and Bermo-Phusro area near Bermo town, set shops and vehicles on fire and even attacked the Bermo police station.

However, the incident has left Haq, the father of Adil in utter shock. “My child was not a miscreant and mostly stayed away from controversies”, says Adil father. While being interrogated by the police, Adil maintained that he did not know that it would turn into a communal issue.