FIR against Facebook policy head Ankhi Das, 2 others over posts
Raipur, Aug 18: An FIR has been filed here against a senior Facebook executive and two users of the social media platform for allegedly hurting religious sentiments, police said on Tuesday.
The case was lodged at Kabir Nagar police station late Monday night based on the complaint of Awesh Tiwari, a Raipur-based journalist of a news channel, Senior Superintendent of Police Ajay Yadav told PTI.
Three persons, identified as Ankhi Das from New Delhi, Ram Sahu from Mungeli (Chhattisgarh) and Vivek Sinha from Indore (Madhya Pradesh), were booked. An investigation is underway and further action will be taken accordingly, the official said.
The three have been booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 295(a) (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings), 505(1)(c) (with intent to incite, or which is likely to incite, any class or community of persons to commit offence against any other class or community), 506 (criminal intimidation), 500 (defamation) and 34 (common intention), he said.
Das is Facebook's Director, Public Policy, India, South and Central Asia. Tiwari lodged the case after he was named in a complaint by Das to Delhi Police, alleging that she had been receiving threats to her life through online posts. According to the FIR, Tiwari in his complaint said that on August 16, he put up a post on his Facebook account related to an article published in the Wall Street Journal.
The WSJ reported that Facebook refused to apply hate speech rules to certain BJP politicians, while the social media giant has asserted that its policies are enforced globally without regard to political affiliation. Tiwari in his police complaint said, "Two Facebook users, with names Sahu and Sinha, jumped in to defend Das and commented on his (Tiwari's) post that she (Das) is a Hindu and she is talking in the interest of the faith. Sahu allegedly posted derogatory and communally sensitive photographs and also threatened him."
Tiwari also said he had been receiving threat messages and calls on WhatsApp after his post. He alleged that Das, Sahu and Sinha were trying to defame him by spreading religious hatred due to which his life is under threat and he is living in constant fear. Tiwari has submitted to police screenshots of the threat messages received on his mobile phone.