Stone-pelters in Kashmir were mobilised through 300 WhatsApp groups
A senior police official in Kashmir confirmed the news and while explaining how determined attempts were being made to disrupt the operations of the security forces by mobilising stone-pelting mobs at the encounter sites, he said, “each of these 300 WhatsApp groups had around 250 members
Srinagar: It has come to notice that nearly 300 WhatsApp groups were being used to mobilise stone-pelters in Kashmir to disrupt security forces' operations at encounter sites.
A senior police official in Kashmir confirmed the news and while explaining how determined attempts were being made to disrupt the operations of the security forces by mobilising stone-pelting mobs at the encounter sites, he said, “each of these 300 WhatsApp groups had around 250 members.” The government, however, has shut down almost 90 per cent of these groups.
“In the last three weeks, more than 90 per cent of these WhatsApp groups have been shut down. We identified the groups and the group administrators, who were called in by police for counselling. We have had a good response to this initiative," another official from the J&K police stated.
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What else the Kashmir police officials said:
- Government's policy of suspending internet services appeared to be showing positive results in curbing stone-pelting during encounters.
- Just a few youth gathered to hurl stones after two militants were gunned down in the encounter on Saturday last in Budgam.
- With no internet services, the mobilisation of mobs has almost become impossible.
- He said some of the youth listed personal issues like alleged harassment by security forces as reasons for taking to stone-pelting. Most of them get carried away momentarily.
- Authorities are also looking at further sensitizing the personnel on the need to adopt a humane approach while dealing with the youth.
- With the internet facility withdrawn, the activity on these social networking groups and other sites like Facebook has come down drastically.
The other side of Internet suspension:
- The common people especially those from the business community, however, say they are facing hardships, because of the inability to stay connected online.
- Most of the people had done away with landlines and broadband internet services as mobile internet facility gave them more freedom and were also cheaper.
- People expect the government to ensure safer steps so that the business in the valley does not suffer because of the internet ban.