Maharashtra CM says not targeting critics on social media, taking action against derogatory posts
The accusations surfaced after youngsters, who wrote against the state on social media, got notices from the cybercrime cell of the Mumbai Policemumbai Updated: Oct 17, 2017 22:22 IST
Clarifying that the state was not targeting those criticizing them on social media, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday said notices were sent only in cases where fake accounts were used to send derogatory posts with an intention to disturb social harmony.
He said Ahmednagar constable Ramesh Shinde was suspended for campaigning for a political party, which is in violation of service rules, and not over his WhatsApp post against PM Narendra Modi.
The accusations surfaced after youngsters, who wrote against the state on social media, got notices from the cybercrime cell of the Mumbai Police. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar recently declared support to these youngsters, who he claimed were being targeted for criticising the BJP, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Modi on social networking sites. The Shiv Sena, too, had criticised the government, with Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray expressing his unhappiness over the suspension of the constable.
“We have issued notices to 11 people and that too only in cases where fake accounts were used to post derogatory comments against Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, with an aim to create social unrest. After being exposed, such people are trying to put political pressure on us. They will not be spared,” Fadnavis said.
The CM said people are free to criticise anybody, including him and the government, and the state has not objected to it. Fadnavis said he met Pawar to explain the issue to him and details of the cases will be sent to the NCP leader.
He said the constable has written some 200 politically motivated posts in the past two months. “He is the brother of a political leader and was actively involved in an election campaign. The state government has evidence against him,” Fadnavis said, adding, “Allowing police to get involved in poll campaign or criticise the government can lead to law and order issues.”
The police constable was posted as a bodyguard of Congress MLA and former minister Balasaheb Thorat.