To prevent any untoward incident following the Supreme Court verdict in the politically-sensitive Ayodhya verdict, the Uttar Pradesh Police ensured well in advance that no WhatsApp groups in the communally-sensitive areas were able to post fake, mischievous or hate messages and disturb the law and order situation, a senior police officer said on Saturday.
Not only the unusually heavy deployment of forces in Ayodhya helped the government ward off any untoward incident after the Supreme Court verdict, keeping thousands of WhatsApp groups under check helped control the social media situation, Ashutosh Pandey, Additional Director General (ADG), UP Police, and special in-charge of Ayodhya security, told IANS in an interaction.
“We had instructed thousands of WhatsApp groups in the communally-sensitive pockets to go in ‘admin only’ mode or else face the music in case hate posts are seen emanating from such groups after the verdict,” Pandey added.
The ‘admin only’ mode ensured that only the admin of a particular group, not any member, was able to post messages after the verdict. Appeals were also made to social media users to exercise restraint and not post any content that would create communal disharmony.
Several WhatsApp groups went into the ‘admin only’ mode across the country to avoid posting any objectionable content by any member after the judgment.
In what will go down in history as one of its most landmark verdicts, the Supreme Court on Saturday granted the ownership of the 2.77 acres of disputed land in Ayodhya to the Hindus, paving the way for the construction of a Ram Temple, and ruled that the Muslims will get 5 acres of land at an alternative site.
(With input from agencies)