Agnipath protest: 35 WhatsApp groups banned for spreading fake news | Tech News

Agnipath protest: 35 WhatsApp groups banned for spreading fake news

Many WhatsApp groups banned by the government for spreading fake news on the Agnipath scheme.

| Updated on: Aug 22 2022, 13:08 IST
The government has shared a fact-checking number 8799711259 for WhatsApp users after fake news about the Agnipath scheme was spread on the platform. (REUTERS)

In the crackdown against fake news spreaders, the government has banned 35 WhatsApp groups. It had come to the government's notice that, during the Agnipath protests, fake news was being spread and it promptly moved to get these WhatsApp groups banned. As many as 35 WhatsApp groups were banned for spreading misinformation on the Agnipath scheme and Agniveers on Sunday, the Ministry of Home Affairs said. This comes after several reports on social media platforms, especially WhatsApp, were being used to boost and mobilise people during the Agnipath protest in states like Bihar, which then turned violent. Also, the sources told HT that at least ten people have been arrested on charges of organising protests and disseminating fake news. To control the fake news, Centre has issued a PIB fact-checking number - 8799711259 for WhatsApp users.

On June 17, the Bihar government had suspended internet services in 12 districts for 3-days while citing spread of objectionable content in order to incite the public and cause damage to life and property. Also read: New WhatsApp photo feature rolling out to these users!

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The district administration in Patna mentioned that the collected information from the phones of arrested protestors hinted toward the role of coaching centres. Chandrashekher Singh, the District Magistrate of Patna told IANS, “The operators of seven coaching institutes are also on the radar of the district administration. We have put security forces on high alert. If necessary, we will not hesitate to stop internet services in Patna.”

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No hiring of protestors under Agnipath

Amid the ongoing protests, the Centre has clarified that the Agnipath scheme for recruitment to the armed forces for a four-year term will not be rolled back. Even the Defence Ministry has made it clear that people accused of violence and destruction during protests will not be recruited under the Agnipath scheme. During the recruitment, the aspiring candidates will need to sign a written pledge declaring that they did not participate in the violent protests, which will be double-checked by the police.

On June 14, the government of India announced the ‘Agnipath' model of recruitment of soldiers for four years with a provision that it will retain 25 percent of the total strength for an additional 15 years after a selection process.

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First Published Date: 20 Jun, 17:52 IST