October 01, 2020

Bihar plans 1,459 WhatsApp groups to check fake news, rumours

Image result for WhatsApp groupsPatna: The police department in Bihar is forming as many as 1,459 WhatsApp groups to check the spread of rumours and tackle rising communal flare-ups, which have become a matter of serious concern in recent months.

The group — to be called ‘Cyber Army Groups’ ­— will keep a tab on circulation of fake news from village to district-levels, and immediately report the authorities concerned if they come across any serious and suspicious posts.

Each group will have a minimum of 100 and a maximum of 256 members, and the idea is to link as many as 373,504 people through these groups.

Authorities said the Additional Director-General of Police (Economic Offences Unit) JG Gangwar would monitor the groups.

“The Bihar police has a strength of around 80,000 policemen, and with the local people joining the Cyber Army groups, it would emerge as a formidable force to effectively counter rumour-mongering and restore peace in the state,” Bihar Director-General of Police (DGP) KS Dwivedi told the media on Sunday, adding that it would be first state to set up such groups in the country.

He hoped the idea would work wonders in tackling the law and order problem in the state, using smartphones, internet and computers effectively.

Authorities said the citizens with only clean image and having no criminal background would be added to the groups.

Apart from the lawmakers, village council heads, members, doctors, social activists, advocates, retired officials, student union leaders, trading organisation members and responsible citizens will be added to the group, but only after proper police verifications.

“Those wanting to be part of the groups will have to apply at the police stations concerned and upon verification, they would be added to the groups,” the DGP said.

Bihar has a total of 1,075 police stations, 225 police outposts, 115 sub-divisions and 44 police districts and the idea is to form the WhatsApp Army groups at every level.

“Of late, we faced some serious law and order problems arising out of circulation of fake news on social media. So, we felt the need for forming such groups to keep a check on such rumours and provide credible information to the common men,” the DGP explained.

Courtesy: Gulf News

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