Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday, 21 January ordered the state police's Economic Offenses Wing to penalise anti-government and other defamatory posts on social media against ministers, and other officials, as they fall under the category of cybercrime, NDTV reported.
The Economic Offences Wing is the nodal authority on detecting, preventing and probing cases pertaining to cybercrime.
In a letter to all secretaries of the state government, EOW Chief IG Nayyar Hasnain Khan wrote, “It has come to light that certain persons and organisations have been making defamatory and offensive comments on social media against the government, respected ministers, parliamentarians, legislators, and government officials,” NDTV quoted.
He added, “This is against the prescribed law and comes under the category of cybercrime.”
In the past, the Bihar CM has lashed out at criticism on the internet and urged his followers to not believe social media posts. This is his first appeal for legal action against the same.
Tejashwi Yadav Hits Back
In response, opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav took to Twitter calling Nitish Kumar as the ‘Bhishma Pitamaha of corruption’.
"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. Bihar police sells liquor. I challenge the Chief Minister to arrest me under this order," NDTV quoted the RJD leader, who tweeted in Hindi.
Comparing Kumar to Hitler, Yadav further asked the CM to ‘have some shame’, saying, "Protesters cannot protest. Jail for those who write against the government. People are not allowed to take their complaints to the opposition leader.”
(With inputs from NDTV.)