While announcing the suspension of senior police officials in the Palghar case, home minister RR Patil also offered advice to users of social networking sites such as Facebook.
“People should be careful and act responsibly while using social networking sites. They should know that making comments related to caste, religion or indulging in obscenity can lead to violation of law,” Patil said.
Every citizen who uses such sites should be know about the Information Technology Act, under which individuals can be booked for making remarks on Internet that may might hurt anybody’s religious or caste-related sentiments, he said. “As people use the Internet and social networking sites extensively, they should go through the Act so that they have a sense of what problems their comments can cause,” Patil said.
He, however, said this does not mean that police action in the Palghar case was correct. “The IG report clearly states that the posts made by the two girls were harmless and the police did not need to take action against them,” Patil said.
Patil’s advice to social media users drew mixed responses. While some thought the state had no business advising people on what not to say on Facebook posts, others felt people should more responsible about the remarks they make.
“Political leaders can speak, taunt and abuse anybody in their rallies, but a common man cannot? Discussing and expressing views should just remain inside the four walls of our homes,” said, a lawyer, who did not wish to be identified.
“I agree India is a democratic country, but freedom of expression should not be misused; freedom comes with some limitations rules and we must adhere to it,” said Yashraj Ambupe, 25, a Navi Mumbai resident.