Islamabad used about 200 Twitter handles to provoke Indian Muslims and spark discontent against the police during and after the communal riots in Delhi last month, according to an official dossier compiled by Indian security agencies.
A couple of hundred radical handles targeted the Delhi Police using hashtags such as #ShameonDelhiPolice, #DelhiPoliceTruth and #DelhiPoliceMurders, among others, between February 25 and March 3, according to the dossier, which was accessed by HT.
The dossier cites detailed investigations conducted by Indian agencies to add that these handles were created at the behest of the Pakistani deep state with the purpose of creating major communal disturbance in India.
These social media handles were also in touch with some handles created in India – many of these have been identified — and asked them to spread inflammatory messages.
The idea behind the orchestrated exercise, according to the dossier, was to show that the Delhi Police unfairly targeted Muslims during the communal violence that killed 53 people and left about 500 injured, and to spread the violence to other parts of the country. That, however, did not happen.
The dossier lists about 70 handles from Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Karachi, Lahore tweeting under the hashtag #DelhiRiots2020, and over 100 handles tweeting under the hashtag #DelhiBurning.
The revelation comes a day after Zafar Mirza, the special adviser on health to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, brought up Kashmir at an emergency South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) video-conference arranged to discuss a joint strategy against the coronavirus outbreak.
Indian officials in the know said the Prime Minister’s Office directed the foreign ministry not to take cognisance of Mirza’s remarks by issuing a reaction or a statement.
“The discomfort of other Saarc leaders, particularly Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, when Mirza parroted Rawalpindi’s Kashmir lines was quite evident,” a senior South Block official said.
The conference was organised at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s suggestion.
The remarks by Mirza, though, did not come as a surprise to New Delhi, since Islamabad does not lose any chance to internationalise the Kashmir issue, experts said. At the same time, the remarks substantiated India’s argument before other Saarc leaders that Pakistan has been deliberately blocking the regional grouping, they added.