Hyderabad cops stop people to check WhatsApp for 'drugs', 'ganja' in viral video
A video of Hyderabad police stopping people and checking their WhatsApp messages for words like “ganja” and “drugs” has drawn flak from people on social media.
“Why are so many of you surprised like we haven’t had people’s “chats” read on national TV? If you think surveillance isn’t here yet, what you essentially mean is that surveillance isn’t here for YOU yet,” climate activist Disha Ravi, who was arrested earlier this year in the “toolkit” case, tweeted, and shared the video.
Many reports have claimed that the viral video of the search operation was from the Bahadurpura Limits of Hyderabad, where the police are conducting regular search operations.
“Yes, I am aware that phones are being checked. However, we are not forcing anybody nor are we snatching away their phones to check. People are cooperating and no one is complaining, so I don’t think there is anything illegal,” the Deputy Commissioner of South Zone Police, Gajarao Bhupal, told The News Minute.
Bhupal also said people could refuse to give their phones, adding that the police would have to see “what legal provisions” would be applied in this case. “So far, we have not faced any such issue. There are no specific instructions as there has not been any issue so far,” he said.
After the drug incident involving Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has declared a war on illegal drugs. Last week, the CM addressed a high-level meeting of police and excise officials, and instructed them to stop the drug and ganja racket.
Why are so many of you surprised like we haven't had people's "chats" read on national TV?
If you think surveillance isn't here yet, what you essentially mean is that surveillance isn't here for YOU yet. https://t.co/bv8xdsexq5
— Disha Ravi 𓆉 (@disharavii) October 28, 2021
“The government is ready to provide everything to control this menace. Eradicate the ganja mafia and don’t spare criminals, whoever they may be,” the CM had said earlier, adding that a comprehensive action plan should be prepared to wipe out ganja cultivation before “the situation gets out of hand”.
Apart from that, Rao had said officials who perform well in eradicating the racket would be given cash awards, rewards, and special promotions.