Cyberabad Police Face Online Backlash For Filing FIR Against Twitter User For Photoshopped Image 

by Swarajya Staff - Apr 28, 2020 04:50 PM +05:30 IST
Cyberabad Police Face Online Backlash For Filing FIR Against Twitter User For Photoshopped Image Screenshots of the image posted by @theskindoctor13 and his tweet. 
Snapshot
  • FIR against retired Army officer, despite his social media post clearly proclaiming its satirical intent, has given the impression that Cyberabad police does not understand or appreciate humour.

Swarajya recently reported how the official handle of Cyberabad Police in the state of Telangana was slammed online for indulging a Twitter user who had complained about saffron flags at vendor carts.

Thousands of Twitter users, including a parliamentarian, had questioned the police’s response to what they said was a ‘bizarre’ complaint. Some users trolled the police for it.

One such user has been booked by the Cyberabad police, in an act that that has attracted even more criticism on the police.

English daily The Hindu has reported that the Cyberabad police have filed an FIR against a Twitter user who posted a photoshopped image on his account involving the Cyberabad police.

The image showed a news item carried on the front page of a Hyderabad-based English newspaper saying that the police have 'banned the sale of oranges in Hyderabad’.

The image showed Cyberabad police commissioner VC Sajjanar accompanied by two other officers, with oranges placed on a table. On the lower side of the image, the user had mentioned that it was ‘satire’, which means that the news item was, obviously, ‘fake’.

However, the image went viral on social media. Many even fell for it, thinking it to be true.

The FIR against the user mentions IPC sections 153A (promoting enmity between two groups on the ground of religion, race) and 505 (making, publishing, circulating statement, rumour, report promoting enmity, hatred between sections of people).

It also evokes section 66C (identity theft) of Information Technology Act 2000.

While The Hindu did not identify the accused, it has emerged that the user is a retired Army Major who uses the handle ‘@TheSkinDoctor13’.

On his Twitter account, the user has called the FIR ‘absurd’.

“Cyberabad police has filed a case against me for a satire. A satire they perceived as ‘fake news’ despite a disclaimer. How absurd it is! Any lawyer friend who can help me with this? Also, one more request. If anyone can find out the FIR number so that I can proceed accordingly (Sic),” he posted.

The user’s appeal led to many lawyers offering him legal help.

The police are reportedly trying to arrest him.

The FIR has invited sharp criticism on social media.

N Ramchander Rao, a BJP member and MLC from Telangana, wrote, “Filing of FIR Against a retired Major @theskindoctor13 for a tweet which was Humorous Artistic expression is infringing Article 19 of our constitution and also over reaction by @cyberabadpolice while there is neither Hate nor Fake his tweet. Request @TelanganaDGP to withdraw case.”

A Twitter user asked if people are allowed to make jokes on the police at all.

Many users tagged the handle of Cyberabad police and wrote, ‘Shame on you’.

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