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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

UP: Teachers, edu officers warned against misleading social media posts

The UP basic education department has issued an order warning basic shiksha adikharis (BSAs), block education officers (BEOs) and teachers of strict action if they were found guilty of posting anything objectionable/misleading or contrary to government policy on facebook, WhatsApp etc.

lucknow Updated: Jun 24, 2019 11:15 IST
Rajeev Mullick
Rajeev Mullick
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Under the amended Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act), posting misleading information via social media is a punishable offence.
Under the amended Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act), posting misleading information via social media is a punishable offence.(Representative image)
         

The UP basic education department has issued an order warning basic shiksha adikharis (BSAs), block education officers (BEOs) and teachers of strict action if they were found guilty of posting anything objectionable/misleading or contrary to government policy on facebook, WhatsApp etc.

“In the past there were incidents when a few politically motivated teachers and officers posted comments or shared videos that were against government policy and tarnished the image of the department. These comments/videos also brought unrest or disturbed harmony,” reads the circular, dated June 20, by secretary basic shiksha parishad Ruby Singh.

Under the amended Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act), posting misleading information via social media is a punishable offence.

The order, which was addressed to all basic shiksha adhikaris, says if a government school teacher or officer is found guilty of spreading wrong information through videos, photographs or comments that disturbs country’s security and adversely impacts social harmony, they are liable for punishment.

The education department move assumes significance because after the Pulwama terror attack, in which several CRPF personnel were killed, a number of BSAs and teachers took to social media questioning the timing of the attack and a few allegedly praised Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan. Some BSAs and teachers allegedly criticized/questioned the effectiveness of the Balakot surgical strike and some others made “political” statements against the ruling establishment. Action was taken against many of them for their acts.

Muzaffarnagar basic shiksha adhikari Dinesh Yadav was suspended by the state government for objectionable comments on the Pulwama terror attack. Activists of various Hindu organisations laid siege to the BSA’s office after his comment ‘Jawano par attack karaya gaya hai, hua nahi hai (the attack on CRPF jawans was orchestrated) in a WhatsApp group. The matter came to light when a screenshot of the message went viral on social media.

Ruby Singh said the circular was needed to educate teachers and officer about what not to post on social media.

Not just teachers, a number of students in Uttar Pradesh faced action, she said. The police arrested two students, from Lucknow and Mau, for allegedly making derogatory comments on social media against the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers killed in Pulwama.

Also, an Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) student was booked and later suspended, and two students of private institutes in Uttarakhand were suspended for remarks they allegedly made against the killed CRPF jawans. All these three students are from Kashmir.

First Published: Jun 24, 2019 11:15 IST

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