Manipur Police orders monitoring of social media posts
The Manipur Police have directed immediate setting up of cells at the district level to “check unlawful contents and communal posts” on social media. Additional director general of police (intelligence) Ashutosh Kumar Sinha issued an order in this regard on July 15. He cited an earlier order issued in September last year and said police superintendents will also be members of a central social media monitoring cell.
Sinha asked the members of the cells to “continuously monitor all posts/uploads/comments posted in all dialects of Manipur” on social media platforms. He said the members should bring to the notice of senior officials “unlawful contents” and “communal posts”, which “could have detrimental effects on law and order”.
Sinha urged the concerned officers to take prompt legal action whenever required. HT has seen a copy of his order.
The social media monitoring cells have been asked to check the national cybercrime reporting portal for posts related to their districts and also submit a report every fortnight on the status of monitoring and actions taken.
The order was issued four days before the Supreme Court directed the Manipur Police to immediately release political activist Erendro Leichombam, who was imprisoned since May under the stringent National Security Act (NSA) for a Facebook post. NSA provides for imprisonment without trial for up to two years.
Leichombam has since been released but his friend and journalist Kishorechandra Wangkhem, who was also arrested In May for a Facebook post, remains imprisoned.
Wangkhem and Leichombam were arrested over their Facebook posts on how consumption of cow urine and dung cannot cure Covid-19. Their comments were made with reference to the death of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s Manipur chief S Tikendra Singh of the disease.