Wednesday, February 16, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Facebook page on Ambedkar sparks row

MUMBAI, February 16, 2011
Facebook page on Ambedkar sparks row
Vinaya Deshpande

Crowd damages public property in suburban Khar, Bandra areas

More than 200 people damaged public property and indulged in rioting
in the suburban areas of Khar and Bandra here late on Monday night,
protesting a derogatory page on Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar on the social
networking site, Facebook.

The police resorted to lathicharge to disperse the rioters, K.M.M.
Prasanna, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone IX, told The Hindu.

Mr. Prasanna said an offence was registered in the Khar police station
against unknown persons who created the 'I hate Ambedkar' profile. Two
separate cases of rioting have also been registered.

"We also approached the court today [Tuesday] to direct a competent
authority to take action for blocking the derogatory page," he said.

He said the court issued an order to the Director, Indian Computer
Emergency Response Team, Department of Information Technology,
Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Government of
India, in the matter.

"The court said that the contents of the webpage were grossly
offensive and may cause a law and order situation. It directed the
authorities to take immediate steps with the Chief Technical Officer
of Facebook, U.S., for blocking or deleting the page," he said.

Elaborating on the way the events unfolded, he said a local Marathi
newspaper Loknayak carried an article on Monday stating that a
"Punjabi munda had opened a page on Facebook and given a distorted
profile of Mr. Ambedkar."

"At around midnight, more than 200 people gathered outside Khar police
station. A delegation demanded that we register a complaint and
immediately arrest the person who has opened the page. They also
demanded that the website be blocked immediately," Mr. Prasanna said.

He said that by the time they could look into it, the crowd started
rioting, shouting slogans, and pelting stones.


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