Sushant Singh Rajput Case: Over 80,000 fake accounts created to 'discredit' Mumbai police

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DY365
Published: October 6,2020 10:50 AM
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October 6, 2020: Over 80,000 fake accounts were created on various social media platforms on June 14 to discredit Mumbai police and Maharashtra government over the ongoing investigation into the death

October 6, 2020: Over 80,000 fake accounts were created on various social media platforms on June 14 to discredit Mumbai police and Maharashtra government over the ongoing investigation into the death of 34-year-old Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput.



According to the Hindustan Times, Mumbai police’s cyber unit has made a report where it has been found that posts were uploaded on social media platforms from different countries like Italy, Japan, Poland, Slovenia, Indonesia, Turkey, Thailand, Romania and France.



Automated bots are regularly used to inflate traffic surrounding hashtags, a practice aimed at gaming Twitter’s trending topics. ‘Foreign’ accounts are regularly used in this practice, even though the social media giant insists it has preventive measures in place to prevent coordinated campaigns.



“We identified the posts in foreign languages because of the hashtags used like #justiceforsushant #sushantsinghrajput and #SSR. We’re in the process of verifying more accounts,” said a senior IPS officer told the newspaper.



The report also says that the Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh has asked the cyber cell to investigate the alleged fake accounts and register cases under the Information Technology Act.



“The campaign was run against Mumbai police just to demoralise us at a time when 84 policemen had died due to the pandemic and over 6,000 men were infected with the virus. This was a motivated campaign with vested interest just to malign the image of Mumbai police and derail our line of investigation,” he told HT.



He said multiple fake accounts were created on social media to target the Mumbai police with “abusive tones”.



The Mumbai police had begun investigating the case and ruled the actor’s death a suicide. The Bihar police registered a case against the actor’s partner Rhea Chakraborty, after Rajput’s family members accused her of murder and abetment of suicide. Many, including actor Kangana Ranaut, cast doubts on the Mumbai police’s ability to properly investigate the case.



It was in this context that a social media campaign began, demanding justice for Rajput. The Mumbai police cyber cell’s report says that automated bots or foreign accounts were used to populate the hashtags.



The case was eventually taken over by the CBI, which is investigating the case.