20-yr-old held for forwarding hate SMS

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3 Nov 2010
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COIMBATORE: A 20-year-old youth has been arrested for sending more than 200 SMSs warning of a possible backlash by affected members of the minority community in the Assam ethnic clashes.

The youth was identified by cops as B Mohammed Sheik Hassain, a resident of Al Ameen Colony in South Ukkadam in the city. A diploma holder in engineering, Hassain was working as a salesman at a textile shop near the town hall here. He was arrested late on Saturday after tracking his mobile phone.

During interrogation, Hassain confessed that he had forwarded an SMS he received on August 10 on the communal situation in Assam to over 25 people. But police said the hate message was forwarded by Hassain to more than 200 people. According to Hassain, he received the message from one Anvar, whose antecedents are now being checked by police.

It was following an alert from one of the recipients of the message that the Big Bazar Street police swung into action and arrested Hassain. According to police inspector Deivasigamani, Hassain had no links with any terror outfit and he forwarded the message believing its content to be true. Rumours must have prompted him to do so, the inspector said. "He had no criminal motive but the content was capable of vitiating the situation,'' said Deivasigamani.

Hassain has been charged under IPC sections for threat to national integration and creating public mischief, apart from the Copy Rights Act.

City police commissioner A K Viswanathan urged the public not to be carried away by rumor mongering. He asked residents not to forward any message that would affect communal harmony.

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