The Bihar government has decided to bring offensive and defamatory social media posts against the government, its minsiters, and other officials, under the category of cybercrime, a sign that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is rattled by criticism on internet platforms. Having lashed out at such commentary for long, he has now ordered the state police’s Economic Offenses Wing, the nodal point for such crimes, to report and act against those who make them.
Bihar is one of the few states that has rarely acted against offensive views and comments on the internet. A letter written yesterday by the chief of the Economic Offenses Wing, IG Nayyar Hasnain Khan, to all secretaries of the state government, however, changes everything now.
“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,” IG Khan wrote on the letter.
“This is against prescribed law and comes under the category of cybercrime,” he wrote.
The senior officer then requested all officials to inform the Economic Offences Wing about such acts so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice.
Mr Kumar’s anger at social media is an open secret. Almost in all his public speeches, be it official or party fora, he calls out instances of disinformation against his government. He also urges his supporters against believing social media posts. However, it is only now that his government has decided to act tough.