A video circulated through social media led to violent clashes over the weekend in Muzzafarnar, a town in Uttar Pradesh in North India, about 105 km northeast of Delhi, Indian media have reported.
The provincial government, led by the Samajwadi Party, has blamed social media and a particular video for the violence in which 28 people have died so far.
The purported video inciting violence was posted online and it wrongly claims to show two men being lynched by a mob in the state, government sources have said.
"Rumours through bulk SMS, Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp was the reason for the spurt in violence," said the Inspector General of Police (Crime, STF) Ashish Gupta.
The irony is that the video which is being circulated through Whatsapp is two years old, and that the video was made in a neighbouring country, according to Gupta.
Because of the violence, the Indian army has been deployed in the area. So far, 56 people have been injured in the violence while 90 preventive arrests have been made by the police.
The video in question has been blocked and an investigation is trying to locate the person who uploaded it, said Arun Kumar, a senior police officer. (Sources: Tehelka.com, NDTV.com)