MUMBAI: Strict monitoring of social media by the authorities ahead of the Supreme Court verdict on the decades-old Ayodhya dispute has not deterred netizens from violating the curbs.
Police in many places have pulled up people who have taken to the social media to comment on the sensitive issue, which has resulted in communal flare-ups across the country.
A 56-year-old man was arrested on Friday in Maharashtra's Dhule district for writing an objectionable post on the eve of Supreme Court's verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid issue, according to a report in Free Press Journal.
Sanjay Rameshwar Sharma, a resident of Old Agra Road in Dhule, had posted a message in a regional language on his Facebook wall claiming he would celebrate Diwali after getting "justice" for Shri Ram Janmabhoomi, and stressed it would remove a "dark spot of history".
After police teams monitoring social media posts came upon Sharma's Facebook post, he was arrested under sections 153 (1) (B), 188 of IPC (commits any act which is prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities), an official was quoted by FPJ as saying.
Sharma reportedly has been arrested in two cases in the past three months, for allegedly beating up a man for befriending a girl from another community, and for assaulting two others.
In another incident, Uttar Pradesh Police pulled up warned former Congress leader Shehzad Poonawalla for putting out a tweet taking sides about the expected judgment. The tweet has since been deleted.
Reports from Ayodhya said panic started building up amongst the pilgrims in Ayodhya around midnight after they came to know that the decision on Ayodhya is coming on Saturday. The pilgrims who had gone to Ayodhya to bathe in pious river Saryu on the auspicious bathing dates starting on Monday started packing their bags and were seen leaving the temple town in a hurry.
Ghanshyam Das Chaurasia, a retired teacher who has come from Kushinagar district along with nine family members also walked four kilometers to catch the bus as soon as possible around the midnight, a report in Firstpost said.
On being asked why he was leaving he said, "I was asleep when my son called from Kushinagar and told me that the Ayodhya verdict was coming. I took the decision of leaving the town as we all know that riots broke out in 1992 and I do not want to risk my life staying here." (With inputs from media reports)
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