Quota Reform Demo: 2 'identified' over inciting violence
Investigators claim to have identified two persons who spread rumours in social media and incited violence during the recent Quota reform movement.
“These two suspects have no relations with Dhaka University but they were active in social media all along the quota protests and wrote posts inciting violence,” a high official of Cyber Security & Crime Division of Dhaka Metropolitan Police told The Daily Star yesterday.
The two also circulated false information like “a DU student has been killed in police firing” and “someone has cut tendons of a student at female hall”, he said.
They are under watch and will be brought to book very soon, the official added.
Besides, the social media monitoring team of DMP detected 15 Facebook IDs that spread lies and wrote provocative posts to incite attacks during the movement.
The team contacted the Facebook authorities requesting details of these IDs, including their phone number and email address, according to officials.
In another development, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) sent a letter to Facebook requesting closure of all fake IDs under the name of Iffat Jahan Isha.
Isha is the president of DU Kabi Sufia Kamal Hall unit BCL.
The BCL on April 13 reinstated her as president of the unit just 48 hours after expelling her from the position on the allegation that she assaulted three female students for taking part in quota reform demo.
The pro-Awami League student body said it found Isha "innocent" in its investigation.
Earlier, some photos of a wounded leg of another BCL activist of the residential hall were circulated in Facebook with captions that Isha had cut tendons of her leg.
A high official of BTRC yesterday said they have sent a letter to the Facebook authorities last Tuesday requesting closure of all the 17 fake accounts following a home ministry order.
ATTACK AT DU
According to investigators, a status was posted from a Facebook account around 11:54pm on April 8, saying “a DU student named Abu Bakkar has been killed in police firing”.
Within one and a half hours of the posting, a group of professionals launched an attack on DU VC's residence, they added.
Officials suspect that the Facebook users who spread such rumours were linked with those who attacked the VC residence.
“For this reason, we are collecting details of these social media users to keep them under surveillance,” an official told this newspaper.
Najmul Islam, additional deputy commissioner of the Cyber Security & Crime Division, said they have scrutinised some 200 social media IDs that were involved in spreading rumours during the demonstration on DU campus.
“Finally, we detected 15 IDs who wrote posts to incite attacks.”
On April 11, a total of five cases were filed by the DU authorities and police against a huge number of unidentified people.
Three of the cases were over vandalism, arson and obstructing law enforcers to perform their duties during the quota demonstrations, one was in connection with the attack on DU VC's residence and another for spreading rumour in social media.
The cyber crime division is investigating the social media case, filed with Ramna Police Station. The Detective Branch (DB) of Police is overseeing four other cases, filed with Shahbagh Police Station.
Devdas Bhattacharya, additional commissioner (DB) of DMP, told The Daily Star yesterday that they have already collected footage from different media outlets and from CCTV cameras installed on the university campus to identify those who attacked the DU VC's residence.
“It has become difficult for us to identify the attackers as they have destroyed all the CCTV cameras installed at the crime scene and the footage we have found was either captured before the attack or after it,” he said.
Earlier on April 12, DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia said those who attacked the DU VC's residence during the Quota reform demonstration are professionals.
A detective, requesting anonymity, said they have to go slow for investigation of the cases as they were asked to inform the high officials before taking any steps.