In an interesting turn of events, Bihar Police has issued an order stating that those who engage in violent protests and demonstrations will not be able to government jobs or passports.
The order stated that a person participating in any ‘law and order situation’ or protests charged by the police, his name will be mentioned in the character verification report by the police. This will make it difficult for such people to secure a government job.
According to an Indian Express report, participation in protests would affect police verification for nine services: passport, character certificate, contractual jobs in government, work contracts in government departments, boards and commissions, licences for petrol pump and gas agency, passports, government grant, bank loans.
Moreover, the Uttarakhand government has also issued a warning saying that people’s social media posts can also have an effect on police verification for passports. The Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar has said that the police will maintain a record of social media posts that the law enforcement agency deems as “anti-national” or “anti-social”.
Kumar stated that the state police will monitor the accused person’s ‘social media behaviour’ to see if he is ‘habitually’ posting ‘anti-national posts’. The consequence of such behavior on social media would mean that police would withhold clearance for police verification required for applying for a passport.
This comes as the Indian government is maximising its effort to fight against fake news in the aftermath of the violent Framers protest that broke out in Delhi on Republic Day.
Earlier, the government of India issued a notice to microblogging website Twitter and warned it of action for ‘unilaterally’ unblocking more than 250 accounts suspended earlier over the use of a hashtag regarding the farmers’ protest.
In a notice issued late on Tuesday night (February 2), the ministry of electronics and information technology said that Twitter violated its order to unblock as many as 257 accounts that were seen to be associated with the protest.
“You are aware of the prevailing situation, which not only has the potential but has, in fact, resulted in a major public order issue on 26.01.2021. The statutory authorities are doing everything possible to ensure no adverse public order situation takes place and no cognizable offences are committed. In light of these developments and as a part of due process, and as per the settled practice, an order was passed,” said the government, in its order.
The government said that the interim order was issued because hashtags and URLs on Twitter were spreading misinformation in regards to the farmers’ protest and that it could lead to violence and affect public order in the country.
Over the use of hashtag “ModiPlanningFarmerGenocide”, Twitter had earlier blocked accounts that had made tweets in criticism of the government. It is reported that Twitter had withheld these accounts and hashtags temporarily but later told the government that they constituted free speech and unblocked related tweets and accounts.