New Delhi, July 3: With a number of mob lynching incidents being reported from across the country, the Centre on Tuesday warned WhatsApp on “irresponsible messages” being circulated through the messaging application. The Centre asked the messaging app to take immediate action to end the menace of spreading messages that impact the country’s law and order situation. WhatsApp has also been asked to ensure that their platform is not used for such malafide activities, an official statement said here on Tuesday.

“Instances of lynching of innocent people have been noticed recently because of large number of irresponsible and explosive messages filled with rumours and provocation are being circulated on WhatsApp. The unfortunate killing in many states such as Assam, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tripura and west Bengals are deeply painful and regrettable,” the statement from the IT Ministry said.

It added that even though the Law and order machinery is taking steps to apprehend the culprits, “the abuse of platform like WhatsApp for repeated circulation of such provocative content are equally a matter of deep concern.” The statement further added that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has taken serious note of such messages being circulated on WhatsApp and other messaging apps. (Also read: Tripura Police Launches Awareness Drive)

“Deep disapproval of such developments has been conveyed to the senior management of the WhatsApp and they have been advised that necessary remedial measures should be taken to prevent proliferation of these fake and at times motivated/sensational messages,” the statement said. The Centre also warned WhatsApp that spread of such messages should be immediately contained through the application of appropriate technology.

Centre’s warning to WhatsApp came a day after five people were lynched at Rainpada, 25 kilometers from Pimpalner in Dhule, on the suspicion of being child-lifters. “Twenty-three people have been arrested. We have also identified some more accused in this case. Five teams have been formed to identify the accused,” said Dhule SP M Ramkumar told ANI. The officer said that they have collected videos and photographs of the incident from people to identify more accused, reported DNA.