Bihar’s Opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav on Friday challenged the Nitish Kumar government to arrest him under a new order pertaining to offensive social media posts. On Thursday, the Bihar government decided that defamatory and offensive social media posts against ministers, parliamentarians and other officials will come under the category of cyber crime.
“The perpetrator of 60 scams, Nitish Kumar, the Bhishma Pitamaha of corruption, the protector of criminals, the weak chief of an immoral and unconstitutional government,” Yadav tweeted. “Bihar police sells liquor. I challenge the Chief Minister to arrest me under this order.”
The Rashtriya Janata Dal leader also likened the chief minister to Adolf Hitler. “Protesters cannot protest,” he tweeted. “Jail for those who write against the government. People are not allowed to take their complaints to the opposition leader... Nitish ji, we know you are completely tired, but have some shame.”
In a letter to state government secretaries, Inspector General Nayyar Hasnain Khan, the chief of the Economic Offences Wing, said it seemed correct to take action against people responsible for the defamatory social media posts. He urged the secretaries to inform the Economic Offences Wing about such instances so that appropriate action could be taken.
“It has recently come to light that some people and organisations have been making offensive social media posts against the government, ministers, legislators, members of the Parliament and government officials,” Khan wrote in the letter. “This is against the law and comes under the category of cyber crime.”
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has often spoken out against the “disinformation” being spread about his government. He has also urged his supporters not to believe social media posts.
However, the Supreme Court had in October warned state governments and the police against summoning citizens from one part of the country to another over social media posts. “Do not cross the line,” the court had said. “Let India remain a free country.”