‘No Posts Against Govt’: Social Media Gag Order to Gujarat Cops

The first of its social media gag order was issued by Gujarat DGP Shivanand Jha.

2 min read
The first of its social media gag order was issued by Gujarat DGP Shivanand Jha.

In a first, a social media 'code of conduct' has been issued to police officials in Gujarat under which they cannot express their political views or be a part of any anti-government campaign on the internet, reported PTI.

The guidelines were issued by Gujarat DGP Shivanand Jha who said that police personnel do not enjoy the same rights as civilians or other government employees due to the nature of their job.

This comes in the backdrop of an online campaign seeking wage hike for constable rank personnel in the force. A case has been registered against three people in Gandhinagar for "misleading police personnel to take part in violent agitation" over pay hike, PTI reported, quoting Jha.

Police personnel are prohibited from printing or publishing any content against the state but this is the first time that such a detailed, formal code of conduct for social media has been issued.

What Are the New Norms?

According to PTI, the new norms are:

  • Police personnel and officers should not publicly express any political statement or opinion, they should be apolitical.
  • They cannot be a part of any group or forums that are created to promote or agitate for a cause of religion, caste, creed or sub-caste.
  • They cannot post anything criticising the government or police force regarding any service matters should be posted on social media.
  • Any complaint regarding service matters should not be made online.
  • Police personnel cannot express their personal views online.
  • Policemen have also been advised not to make anything public on social media which is against the national interest or is related to ongoing investigations or future operations.
  • Only Intelligence officers have been excluded from the guidelines provided they take prior permission of their senior officers.

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