Patna: The latest diktat from a top Bihar official is that all offensive social media posts against the government, ministers, MPs, legislators and state officials will be treated as cybercrime and invite penal action.
The first person to violate the diktat was none other than former deputy chief minister and leader of opposition, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, who dubbed Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as ‘Hitler’ for trying to regulate the content on social media and challenged the police to arrest him for his online transgression.
Tejashwi’s tweet also said that Nitish was ‘‘Bhisma of corruption, a protector of dreaded criminals and a weak chief minister of an immoral and illegal government.’’ In the state, innocents were being punished and culprits were allowed to go scot-free; he further alleged that the Bihar police is engaged in illicit liquor trade.
The additional DG of police explained that until now the service providers were asked to delete the defamatory content. But with the new order coming into force, FIRs would be filed against those misusing the social media platform against the government.
CM Nitish Kumar on January 5 had advised the police to keep a watch on social media as the platforms were being misused by vested interests. "Log kuch bhi likhte rahte hain," he had said in a meeting with officers. On January 16, while inaugurating a road project, he had questioned the loyalty of journalists. "Whom do you support?" he had demanded, responding to uncomfortable questions related to murder of an Indigo manager who was shot dead outside his house.
The ruling NDA, however, came out in support of the communication, contending that restraining those spewing venom on the social media had become necessary. BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand echoed similar views. ‘‘Freedom of expression does not mean no-holds-barred expression of views,’’ he said.