In Karnataka's Uttara Kannada district, a shocking case has come to light where police have booked the admin of a Whatsapp page for simply adding a person accused of posting a morphed image of prime minister Narendra Modi.
This is the first such arrest of a WhatsApp group administrator reported from Karnataka.https://t.co/B6NN3DXgRC— News18 (@CNNnews18) May 2, 2017
What's the case?
There is a Whatsapp group called “The Balse Boys” (some reports say it is 'Blase Boys') of about 40 members from Doddabalse village in Bhatkal area of the district. Krishna Naik, a 30-year-old autorickshaw driver is its admin.
On April 14, a member named Ganesh Naik posted a morphed photo of PM modi. A day later, another member Anand Naik reported it to police and got Ganesh arrested. Ganesh was charged under sections 66 and 67 of the Information Technology Act and was released on bail the next day, as per various reports.
The matter would have ended there, but the admin, Krishna, added Ganesh back into the group. And that's when the police decided to "make him a party to the case because he added a known offender back into the group", as per the Hindustan Times report. Ganesh is still in judicial custody.
The new 'arrest-the-Whatsapp-admin' law is so scary. Have decided to broadcast my cartoons to whatsapp friends instead of posting in groups!— Satish Acharya (@satishacharya) May 3, 2017
Last month, a joint order issued by the district magistrate of Varanasi and the police chief had stated that offensive posts and fake news circulated through WhatsApp or Facebook groups can land the group admin in jail.
If a stupid law exists, people will use itWhatsApp group admin booked 4 adding member who posted morphed pic of PM https://t.co/rBLzhZpIR1— Harini Calamur (@calamur) May 2, 2017
There are over 200 million WhatsApp users in India.