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Student lands in jail for spreading fake news on WhatsApp

In a bid to reduce the spread of fake news on WhatsApp in India and at the same time stop the rampant mob lynching in the country, the government have begun a massive clampdown on perpetrators of the e-crime.

This crackdown by the Indian police has already seen a 21-year-old student who has already spent 5 months in jail for being the admin of a WhatsApp group in India for spreading what the police called “objectionable content”.

It can be recalled that fake WhatsApp messages have led to the lynching of many people in India for suspicions of child kidnapping and other reasons. Junaid Khan a student from the town of Talen in India’s central Madhya Pradesh state was arrested on February 14th following a complaint filed at the police station by some locals based on charges stem from a message that was forwarded in a WhatsApp group of which he was the Admin, leading to him (the group admin) being arrested.

Police allege the man was the administrator of the WhatsApp group but his family argued he was made a “default admin” of the group only after the original administrators had fled the group. However, police say they took action based on the evidence they have seen. Police say Junaid was the WhatsApp group administrator when the case came to their notice.

His family says otherwise:

“Junaid was a member of the group, but not the admin when the post was already shared, he was made the admin after the post has already circulated and the real admins fled the group”.

He could not write his exams as the court already denied him bail and he has already spent the last 5 months in jail. Police says it has commenced an investigation if there were indeed other admins in the group who left.

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