In a big success against fake online profiles and fraudulent business activities on social media, the Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU) of Mumbai Police’s crime branch on Wednesday cracked India’s first international social media influencers’ fraud after receiving complaints from Bollywood playback singer Bhoomi Trivedi. The cops also nabbed one person in connection with this case who created around 5 lakh fake followers for social media influencers on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook.
“The accused is a part of a larger international fraud racket, which functions by creating crores of fake identities on various social media platforms and thereby creating fake performance statistics such as fake followers, fake comments, fake views etc in order to inflate influencers’ performance statistics,” said DCP, Detection, Nandkumar Thakur of Mumbai Police.
Earlier on Saturday, singer Bhoomi Trivedi approached Mumbai Police Commissioner and complained about her fake profile on Instagram and said these fake profile makers were approaching film personalities to use their services for activating their profiles. Acting swiftly to her complaints, Police Commissioner Parambir Singh ordered the crime branch to probe into this matter and later this mega scam was unearthed which unveiled how social media influencers boosted their number of followers.
The cops have arrested a 20-yearold man Abhishek Daude, who worked for a web portal (www.followerskart.com) which claimed to be an official public company that implemented social networking services for its clients. The police said that the above-mentioned portal was one such that actively created fake followers. Daude created over 5 lakh fake followers, for a total of 176 profiles on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook, in order to fraudulently project them as influencers. According to the police, fake profiles have been created on social media platforms and such profiles are then used for activities in social media marketing. Fake profiles of celebrities too are created to make money.
Meanwhile, Mumbai Police has also announced a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the illegal aspects of social media marketing businesses operating in violation of the IT Act. Joint Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch, Vinay Kumar Choubey said, “We have estimated that more than 100 such social media marketing portals which provide fake followers, found operating through Indian, as well as foreign internet networks and servers and 54 of them have been identified so far. We have formed SIT that has not only crime branch people but also cyber experts.”
Mumbai Police explains that this is done either manually or by certain illegal software (mostly known as bots). By manipulating the existing system of respective social networks, these racketeers post such fake followers, etc. These followers are then sold to buyers who want to show an increase in their social media activity. The Daily Guardian found out that organic followers are fine but fake followers are illegal. There are lists of such carts online like ‘shopping cart’ which sell followers on current rates. In some sites, for 1,000 fake followers, an individual has to pay about Rs 2,000 (Rs 2 per follower). Cyber-crime expert Ritesh Bhatia says, “Fake followers are nothing but fake social media. Profiles that are created in order to follow mass social media profiles. These fake profiles do not interact or engage with the accounts they are following and are usually inactive. Most of them are bot accounts — automatically computer created accounts that are generated only to follow. This is one reason we see many influencers having lachs of followers but unfortunately many of them are inactive.”
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Congress backs CBI raids on AAP leader Manish Sisodia, says ‘It is not surprising
Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit backs the CBI raid at the residence of Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. The raid has been conducted in connection with the excise policy probe on Friday.
“It is not surprising. We have been hearing about what has been happening in the Delhi Government for the last 7-8 years. It is surprising that the CBI raids didn’t happen earlier. Be it liquor case, construction of rooms in schools, teachers recruitment, the civil defense recruitment case or the contracts case wherever you see, there should’ve been not one but 10 CBI raids,” Dikshit said.
Congress leaders said the Aam Aadmi Party and the BJP collusion in Delhi to damage the prospects of Congress.
“AAP is making money, damaging Congress, and supporting BJP. Now they (BJP) might have felt they’re (AAP) not needed anymore, so all sins of AAP will come out. We’ll see if BJP strikes an agreement with them or does justice,” Dikshit.
Meanwhile, Sandeep Dikshit is the son of the late Shiela Dikshit who was chief minister of Delhi from 1998-2013.
“I am sure that, if the raids are done with integrity and the cases go on, there will be no minister in AAP cabinet will left,” he said adding that it remains to be seen whether the BJP “will strike an agreement with them (AAP) or do justice,” Dikshit said.
Moreover, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera also tweeted, ” “The flip side to the relentless misuse of agencies against political rivals is that even legitimate, rightful actions of agencies come under a cloud of suspicion. In the process, the corrupt get away hiding behind the ‘misuse’ argument and the honest end up paying the price.”
According to the information, the CBI team is raiding more than 21 locations across Delhi-NCR. The CBI is conducting these raids in connection with the alleged excise scam in Delhi.
“Raids are going on at 21 places in Delhi and NCR, including the residence of Manish Sisodia and premises of four public servants in the Excise Policy case,” a CBI official said.
Earlier on Friday morning, the CBI officials reached the residence of Manish Sisodia. Sisodia himself has informed about the action of CBI by tweeting.
“CBI has arrived. We are honest, building a future for lakhs of children. Unfortunate that in this country, whoever does good work is hassled just like this, that is why our country is still not number 1,” Sisodia said.
“I extend my welcome to the CBI. I will cooperate with the investigation so that the truth comes out at the earliest. Till now many cases have been filed against me but nothing has come out. Nothing will come out of it either. My work cannot be stopped for a good education in the country,” Sisodia tweeted.
Moreover, Aam Aadmi Party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal came in support of Manish Sisodia. Taking Twitter Kejriwal said, “I welcome CBI. We will cooperate fully. There have been many such probes, and raids in past. Nothing came out. Nothing will come out this time too.”
Earlier in July, Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena demanded a CBI probe into revamped excise policy in Delhi. He also approved the suspension of 11 officials including Gopikrishna and deputy excise commissioner Anand Kumar Tiwari.
Droupadi Murmu pays tribute to former President Shanker Dayal Sharma on his birth anniversary
On the birth anniversary of former President of India Dr. Shanker Dayal Sharma, Droupadi Murmu paid homage on Friday at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Taking to Twitter Murmu said, “The President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu, paid homage to Dr. Shanker Dayal Sharma, former President of India, on his birth anniversary at Rashtrapati Bhavan today (August 19, 2022). The President and officials of Rashtrapati Bhavan paid floral tributes in front of the portrait of Dr. Shanker Dayal Sharma.”
President Droupadi Murmu paid floral tributes to Dr Shanker Dayal Sharma, former President of India, on his birth anniversary at Rashtrapati Bhavan pic.twitter.com/duoSL5siqm— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) August 19, 2022
Meanwhile, Shanker Dayal Sharma was the 9th president of India and besides this Sharma has been 8th vice president of India. As a President Sharma served from 1992 to 1997.
Moreover, Sharma was also the President of the Congress party from 1972 to 1974 and from 1974 to 1977 he became the Union Minister.
Dilip Ghosh’s remarks against TMC’s Sougata Roy kick up controversy: ‘People will beat him up with shoes’
Dilip Ghosh, national vice president of the BJP, sparked controversy when he declared that senior Trinamool Congress (TMC) politician Sougata Roy “would be beaten up with shoes” for his remark targeting his party’s detractors.
“Sougata Roy is a veteran politician. He was a professor once upon a time. But we are stunned to hear the language he used to attack the opposition. He is telling his party cadres that shoes will be made by peeling off the skin. The day is not far away when people will beat him up with shoes. The TMC leaders will be beaten up with shoes in various parts of the state,” Ghosh said.
Roy had slammed the opposition parties for “maligning” the ruling party in Bengal after Partha Chatterjee and Anubrata Mondal, two of its leaders, were taken into custody in separate cases. Under the guise of protest, the TMC leader had declared that “shoes will be manufactured by peeling off the skin of those who believe they can get away by maligning the party.”
He later expressed regret over his remark.
Additionally, Ghosh asserted that these remarks demonstrate how TMC officials are now “scared” as two of their top colleagues are in jail.
Roy responded angrily to the BJP leader’s statement, saying the man lacks “formal education.” The TMC leader further asserted that Ghosh was in contact with his party since the saffron camp no longer had faith in him.
Reportedly, he said, “It’s beyond my dignity to comment on what a person with little or no formal education is saying. Dilip Ghosh himself is in touch with our party as he no longer enjoys the confidence of the BJP leadership.”
The CBI detained Mondal for reportedly refusing to cooperate with it in a cattle smuggling case, while the Enforcement Directorate detained Chatterjee in connection with the school employment recruiting fraud.
J&K: Earthquake of 3.1 magnitudes jolted Hanley
The National Center for Seismology on Friday said a 3.1 magnitude earthquake jolted South Soutwest of Jammu and Kashmir’s Hanley.
Taking to Twitter, NCS informed, “Earthquake of Magnitude: 3.1, occurred on 19-08-2022, 12:02;14 IST, Lat: 31.89 & Long: 78.67, Depth: 5 Km, Location: 92km SSW of Hanley, Jammu and Kashmir, India.
However further details are awaited.
PM Narendra Modi, President Droupadi Murmu extend greetings on Janmashtami
On the occasion of Janmashtami Prime Minister Narendra extended greetings to the people.
Taking to Twitter PM Modi said, “Hearty greetings to all the countrymen on the auspicious occasion of Janmashtami. May this festival of devotion and gaiety bring happiness, prosperity, and good fortune to everyone’s life. Long live Shri Krishna!”
Earlier in the morning, President Droupadi Murmu also extended a greeting to the people.
“Hearty greetings to all the countrymen on the auspicious occasion of Janmashtami. From the life of Lord Krishna, we can imbibe the qualities of providing education by doing selfless deeds for the welfare of the people. I wish that this holy festival gives inspiration to all of us to give priority to everyone’s interest with thought, word, and deed,” Murmu tweeted.
Meanwhile, on the eve of Janmashtami President Murmu said, “On the auspicious occasion of Janmashtami, I extend my warm greetings and best wishes to all my fellow citizens living in India and abroad.
“Lord Krishna’s life and teachings included the message of well-being and virtue. He propagated the concept of “Nishkam Karma” and enlightened the people about the attainment of the ultimate truth through the Path of ‘Dharma’. I pray that this festival of Janmashtami inspires us to follow the path of virtue in our thought, words, and actions,” Murmu further said.
Moreover, Janmashtmi is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna throughout the country. Every year Janmashtami falls in August and September.
IAS officer in ‘disbelief’ at release of Bilkis case convicts
The release of 11 men convicted in the gang rape of Bilkis Bano and the murder of her 5-year-old daughter and 13 other people during the Gujarat riots in 2002 shocked an IAS officer from the Telangana cadre. As a woman and a government servant, Smita Sabharwal, also known as The People’s Officer, stated that upon learning of the discharge of the defendants in the Bilkis Bano case, she sat in shock.
“As a woman and a civil servant, I sit in disbelief, on reading the news on the #BilkisBanoCase,” the 2001-batch IAS officer tweeted. “We cannot snuff out her Right to breathe free without fear, again and call ourselves a free nation.”
Additionally, Bilkis Bano’s attorney made a statement on the survivor’s behalf in which she said that the release of the defendants had destroyed her confidence in the legal system and left her feeling numb.
“On August 15, 2022, the trauma of the past 20 years washed over me again when I heard that the 11 convicted men who devastated my family and my life and took from me my three-year-old daughter had walked free,” she said in a statement released by her lawyer Sobha. “I was bereft of words. I am still numb.”
She has pleaded with the Gujarati government to “correct this harm” and restore her right to “live without fear and in peace.”
There has been a widespread outcry about the release of the convicts under the previous 1992 remission regime, and many people are demanding the Supreme Court to get involved. Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and Jairam Ramesh, among other senior Congress leaders, criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), claiming that the choice would not have been made without the approval of the national government.
After a BJP MLA who served on the state government panel that recommended the release said that some of the prisoners were “Brahmins” with good “sanskaar,” or morals, the argument heated up. The Godhra-based BJP MLA, C K Raulji, claimed to be unaware of the inmates’ possible involvement in the crime.
“We took the decision on the basis of a Supreme Court order. We were asked to look at their (convicts’) behaviour and decide (on their early release),” Raulji told MoJo, a news portal. “We asked the jailer and learnt that their behaviour was good in the prison…also, some of the convicts) are Brahmins. They have good ‘sanskaar’ (values),” he added.
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