2 Arrested In Uttarakhand For WhatsApp Group Chat On Killing Defence Minister

| September 18 , 2018 , 08:50 IST

A total of 2 people were arrested on Monday over an exchange on instant messaging app WhatsApp discussing a plan to allegedly kill Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during her visit to the state.

The 2 accused have been booked under section 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 66 of the Information Technology (IT) Act, Pithoragarh SP Ramchandra Rajguru said.

"We were alerted to the chat (about killing the defence minister) on a WhatsApp group at 9.30 pm on Sunday. We identified two persons between whom the chat was taking place and arrested them Monday morning ahead of the defence minister's arrival here," he said.

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According to police, the controversial WhatsApp message sent by one of the arrested duo said, "Main shoot karunga Sitharaman ko, kal uska akhiri din hoga. ('I will shoot Sitharaman, tomorrow will be her last day')."

Pithoragarh SP Ramchandra Rajguru added that it was being probed whether the duo had any criminal background or whether they had any arms or ammunition in their possession.

While the matter is still under investigation, Rajguru said that it appeared, prima facie, that the duo were drunk while they were chatting. However, the credentials of the admin of the WhatsApp group were also being looked into, the SP said.

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Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited Uttarakhand's Dharchula town along the Indo-Nepal border on Monday to inaugurate a mega medical camp being organised by the Army on the occasion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's birthday celebrated as 'Seva Diwas'.

In August this year, an administrator of a WhatsApp group in Karnataka was arrested for spreading communally provocative messages. Identified as 20-year-old Akshay Angolkar from Karnataka's Udyambag, he had created a group named Belagavi Star and spread communally sensitive information which was then further shared.

Police filed charges under sections 292 (circulation of unlawful or obscene material), 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) and 34 (illegal act done by many with common intention) of IPC and section 67 (circulation of unlawful or obscene material) of Information Technology Act.