The police in Parbhani district of Maharashtra are issuing warnings to `admins’ of chat groups on the messaging app WhatsApp that they should ensure that no objectionable content is circulated on the group.
Admins or administrators are the ones who control who can be part of a WhatsApp chat group. Multiple persons can be admins for one group.
“We have issued a letter to all police stations, asking them to summon WhatsApp group admins in their areas in person, and tell them that they should avoid such content in the group,” Parbhani Sub Divisional Police Officer Sanjay Pardeshi told PTI over phone today.
“We are asking group admins to monitor the content the members post,” he said.
Posts on WhatsApp groups should not have any derogatory content — text, pictures or audio and video clips — about iconic or historical figures, places of worship, anything that may hurt religious sentiments, or anything promoting “sedition” or social disharmony, says the letter sent by the authorities to police stations in the district. If any admin finds such a post on the group, it should be reported to police, Pardeshi said.
District Superintendent of Police Dilip Zalke told PTI that police took this step after incidents of defamatory content going viral through WhatsApp were reported recently.
“Even to forward such a content is a crime,” he said.
If any objectionable content is found to be circulated on a WhatsApp group, offences under the IPC as well as the Information Technology Act will be registered, he said.