INDIA: Orkut banned in Nagpur cyber cafes

Orkut.com censored in cyber cafes for vulgarity

Times of India
Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Nagpur --- Due to the heat Orkut has generated in the past few days, cyber cafe owners here have decided to play it safe and told their customers verbally or through notice boards that logging on to the online community website is expressly banned.

The website has been in the eye of a storm over the past two months, after two public interest litigations were filed against it in Aurangabad and Mumbai for derogatory references to Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji.

More recently, during the winter session of the state legislature at Nagpur, Shiv Sena MLC Arvind Sawant had demanded that the site be banned for 'obscene posts against Hindu women on the website'.

Since then, fearing legal hassles, cyber cafe owners have asked their customers to refrain from logging on to orkut.com.

But, some confusion prevails regarding the police's role in the whole affair. JCP S M Sayeed said cyber cafe owners had been asked around a couple months ago to bar users from logging on to orkut.com. But cafe owners denied having received any such instructions.

As Ravi Karotiya, owner of a net cafe in Dharampeth, said, "I heard from some of my friends that the police would take action against owners who allow orkut.com in their cafes. But no policeman has contacted me on the issue as yet."

Jitendra Pawar of Zing Internet cafe said, "I have put up a notice in my cafe that those logging on to orkut.com may face some trouble. Most customers have agreed but there still are some youngsters who log on despite our repeated requests."