Mumbai police has registered an FIR against unidentified individuals for sending death and rape threats to journalist Rana Ayyub on Twitter and Instagram, Hindustan Times . Ayyub had filed a complaint with the cyber cell of Mumbai police after receiving threats over her tweets criticising Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the Yemen war and her in the Washington Post which has been critical of the Narendra Modi government.
On January 25, Ayyub had tweeted that she had received more than 26,000 abusive tweets. She claimed that most tweets were from “Indian right-wing” and Saudi nationalists “who are attacking me after I posted a tweet in solidarity with Yemen and calling out the Saudis”.
26.4 thousand tweets, most are abusive, rape and death threats, calling me a terror sympathiser. Most tweets are by the Indian right wing & Saudi nationalists who are attacking me after i posted a tweet in solidarity with Yemen and calling out the Saudis. Hello @TwitterIndia pic.twitter.com/Cd1880betW— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) January 24, 2022
the FIR was registered by the west region cyber police station under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 354-A (sexual harassment), and the Information Technology Act.
Speaking with Hindustan Times, a DCP rank officer said, “The accused posted fake news about Ayyub, saying that she has been banned from Saudi Arabia and the user also gave her rape threats and abused her. The offence has been registered against four Twitter and two Instagram account users on Friday.”
On January 27, the Committee to Protect Journalists had for the Indian authorities to conduct an investigation into the threats and ensure safety for the journalist. In the report, CPJ had taken note of a news website called Scoop Beats, which had published a video with a doctored image of a tweet, purportedly by Ayyub, which said, “I hate India and I hate Indians”. On January 26, Ayyub had tweeted about it as well and called for action against the two women in the video.
Waiting for @MumbaiPolice @bhadohipolice @ghaziabadpolice to take it from here. These two women have made a hate video against me with a photoshopped tweet that says 'I hate India and I hate Indians'. This has led to a barrage of death and rape threats against me. @Dwalsepatil pic.twitter.com/Y5rBuhBOYk— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) January 26, 2022
Ayyub had claimed that she received more threats after the video was published. The journalist has also filed a complaint with the Mumbai police against the portal for “spreading false information about her and inciting threats”.
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