July 12, 2018:
Various Sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure will be invoked to book individuals responsible for “subversive and communally provocative” social media posts, an internal message of West Bengal’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) noted.
Message was sent to Senior Police officials last week.
Human Rights Activists have termed it as “Draconian.”
Office of Addl. Director General of Police in charge of CID noted that,“Social Media Monitoring Cell of CID comes across large number of subversive and communally provocative posts on social media every day.”
Message, accessed by The Hindu, further states that,“significant amongst these are shared with field formations for registration of cases, arrests and quick removal.” While the CID instructs “service providers for removal”, there are instances of “violation of criminal laws.”
In such cases, ADGP’s Office has given instructions to invoke the criminal laws.
“Cases should be registered under Section 153 [arrest for provocation with intent to cause riot] or 505(2) [disseminating defamatory content on social network]” with “simultaneous preventive action” under Section 108 of Code of Criminal Procedure [disseminating seditious matters]. Such laws can keep one behind bars for many months, even years.
Senior official of CID, on condition of anonymity, described the message as “an internal circular” to curb “misuse of social media and posts with communal overtones.”