Uttar Pradesh Police has arrested 124 people in the last one week for posting "inciting content" on social media. The crackdown by the police comes at a time when the state is on the edge after violent protests in many parts over the new citizenship law.
Close to 20,000 social media, with over 9,000 Twitter and Facebook profiles, have been reported.
"124 people arrested for posting inciting content on social media. 93 FIRs registered. Action was taken on 19,409 social media posts. Out of these, 9,372 Twitter posts, 9,856 Facebook posts, and 181 YouTube profiles have been reported," the statement from Uttar Pradesh police said.
Twenty-one people have died across Uttar Pradesh, many of them from bullet injuries, in violence during the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or the CAA.
The social media crackdown comes even as the Yogi Adityanath government, in several towns, sealed properties of who they believe were indulging in violence last week. Over two dozen people in Uttar Pradesh's Rampur were sent notices by the administration, seeking recovery for the damage caused in the violence.
The last time UP Police made large-scale arrests over social media posts was in November this year, in the 48 hour period of the Ayodhya verdict. Seventy-nine people were arrested and action was taken against 8,500 social media posts.
"A total of 1,113 people were arrested in connection with the riots and preventive action was taken against 5,558 others during the anti-CAA protest," UP Police said in its statement.
"We are not touching innocents and we will not spare people who were involved in it (violence). And that is the reason we have arrested active members of many organisations, whether it is PFI or any other political parties," Uttar Pradesh police chief OP Singh said today.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act for the first time makes religion the test of citizenship in India. The government says it will help minorities from three Muslim-dominated countries to get citizenship if they fled to India because of religious persecution. Critics say it is designed to discriminate against Muslims and violates the secular principles of the constitution.
Uttar Pradesh is on high alert today, with internet snapped in at least 12 districts over concerns of further protests erupting after the Friday prayers.
(With inputs from ANI)