Fake news disrupting peace in Kashmir: Police

Srinagar, Jul 4: Jammu and Kashmir police on Wednesday claimed that “fake news about encounters and clashes” was common in Kashmir and that it was disrupting peace in the valley.
A police spokesperson said that a seminar on ‘Fake News’ was conducted by Police at District Police Headquarters Shopian which was attended by a number of media persons and police officers.
SSP Shopian Sandeep Chaudhary while speaking on the occasion said that the use of words like hoax, misinformation, and untruth, but simply put, fake news is one of the main causes for disruption of peace and harmony in our society.
“The quantum jump in circulation and prevalence of fake news makes it absolutely critical which creates the need to sensitize people about the impact of fake news. Fake News is mostly spread through social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter,” Chaudhary said.
He said fake news becomes much more dangerous in a volatile society.
“One wrong information or rumour might incite people to indulge in violence. The biggest tragedy of the fake news is that people don’t even realize that they are being exploited by someone else to serve their own interests,” he said.
“In Kashmir, fake news about encounters and clashes is common. Jammu and Kashmir Police is fully equipped to deal with the menace of fake news. Admins of various WhatsApp groups have been made aware of the fact that they are responsible for any fake news spread through their groups. Legal action under relevant sections of law will be initiated against groups found indulging in rumour mongering,” the officer said.
He said the fake news spreads like wildfire and can be detrimental to the maintenance of law and order in society.
“The only way to deal with fake news is awareness among people. Media has to play a vital role in countering fake news because it undermines the legitimacy of hard working media persons who work day and night to gather the true facts and bring them to people,” he said.
Chaudhary added that police and media have to work in tandem to deal with menace of fake news.