Observing that certain vested interests and antisocial elements are indulging in spreading of rumours that can result in causing unrest and tension amongst various communities during the upcoming Assembly elections, the Nagaland government warned all concerned that anyone indulging in spreading of rumours through any means which can cause unrest in the state will be dealt severely with the appropriate section of law.
Nagaland Home Commissioner Abhishek Singh on Saturday night said spreading of rumours through WhatsApp or social media is also a criminal act and that such offences are classified as public mischief which are punishable as per Section 505 of Indian Penal Code.
The Home Commissioner requested all to refrain from forwarding any messages, photographs or videos that have not been verified independently.
He said the police and other law enforcement agencies are making all possible efforts to ensure a safe, secure, free and fair election and solicited the cooperation of all to ensure that this election is the cleanest of all elections.
Under Section 505 (2), it said, whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement or report containing rumour or alarming news with intent to create or promote or which is likely to create or promote, on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever, feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years or with fine or both.
These two clauses of Section 505 will also be applicable if anyone uses WhatsApp or social media for spreading rumours, the Home Commissioner in a statement added.