Nitish Kumar, who has often displayed a short fuse when it comes to criticism on social media, has ordered action against “offensive” posts against his government in Bihar. Bihar’s Economic Offences wing, the agency in charge of cybercrimes, has asked all state departments to report any “defamatory, wrong” posts against ministers, MPs, MLAs or officials.
Soon after the decision came to light this morning, opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav threw up the first challenge, with an all-out attack on Twitter dubbing Nitish Kumar as the “Bhishma Pitamaha of corruption”.
“The perpetrator of 60 scams, Nitish Kumar, the Bhishma Pitamaha of corruption, the protector of criminals, the weak chief of an immoral and unconstitutional government. Bihar police sells liquor. I challenge the Chief Minister to arrest me under this order.”
The RJD leader also compared the Chief Minister to Hitler and said: “Protesters cannot protest. Jail for those who write against the government. People are not allowed to take their complaints to the opposition leader… Nitish ji, we know you are completely tired, but have some shame.”
Bihar is one of the few states that have rarely acted against offensive views and comments on the internet.
A letter written yesterday by the chief of the Economic Offenses Wing, Nayyar Hasnain Khan, to all secretaries of the state government, however, changes that.
“It has come to light that certain persons and organisations have been making defamatory and offensive comments on social media against the government, respected ministers, parliamentarians, legislators, and government officials,” Mr Khan wrote.
“This is against prescribed law and comes under the category of cybercrime.”
Nitish Kumar has been increasingly prone to angry outbursts when confronted with criticism or attacks from critics, mainly Tejashwi Yadav.
In almost all his public speeches, the Chief Minister has alleged that social media is full of “misinformation” against his government.