A total of 1,417 cases on cybercrime charges were filed with police between 2012 and June 2017, and during that period only 179 of them have been dismissed so far
The number of cases related to cybercrimes and filed under the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act with police is on the rise again.
Since 2012 till the end of 2016, the number of cases was on the rising trend, with 546 of them filed in 2016 alone.
According to data available from Police Headquarters, the numbers took a small dive as 352 cases were lodged under the ICT Act till June 30 last year.
Statistics show that a total of 19 ICT cases were filed across the country in 2012, and has been seeing drastic rise till the end of 2016.In July this year alone18 cases were filled at police stations under the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), according Police Headquarters and DMP’s cybercrime unit, showing a rising trend again following a student movement that saw a violent end – partly because of rumours on social media, with as many arrested.
A total of 1,417 cases on cybercrime charges were filed with police between 2012 and June 2017, and during that period only 179 of them have been dismissed so far.
Apart from submitting charge sheets in 748 cases, trials in which are still pending, police have arrested 1,492 people in total in these years, with 490 cases still under investigation, according to Police Headquarters.
Meanwhile, according to the DMP’s cybercrime unit, a total 99 cases were lodged between July last year and June 2018 in Dhaka alone and 125 people arrested, hinting the rise in number of such cases again.
DMP sources said that six cases were also filed under the ICT Actover the last 10 days, after rumours swirling on social media fuelled violence in the capital during the recent student movement for safer road.
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DMP Deputy Commissioner (media) Masudur Rahman told the Dhaka Tribune that they arrested at least 10 people in a number of ICT cases over the past week for their alleged involvementin spreading rumourson social media during the studentmovement.
“We are also taking different steps and being vigilant in preventing rumours over the student protests from spreading on social media,” he said.
After two college students were killed by a speeding bus on Dhaka’s busy Airport Road on July 29, students of different schools and colleges had taken to the streets in protest and demanding punishment of those responsible for the deaths, kicking off a movement that spread across the country over the next week.
Apart from blockading roads and enforcing traffic laws on their own mostly peacefully, the demonstrating student had placed a 9-point demand to the government, which later accepted them.
But the studentscontinued their movement on the streets calling for immediate measures from the authorities.
However, violence marred last Saturday and Sunday’s demonstrations in the capital when police and alleged activists of ruling party affiliate organizations got involved and clashed with students, while swirling rumours, claims, and counter-claims on social media added fuel.
The matter of cybercrime cases and the controversy that surrounds them came to light again after legal measures under the ICT Act were taken against a number of people for reportedly spreading rumours and inciting violence.
Those who were accused in ICT cases and arrested include Drik founder and celebrated photographer Shahidul Alam and actor Quazi Nawshaba Ahmed.