Now ‘anti-national’ social media post could mean no passport in Bihar, Uttarakhand

All such services that need a police verification to be done will be affected by this directive of the Police

anti-national’ social media

First Bihar, then Uttarakhand Police have come up with an order to red-flag those passport applicants and other services that need police verification, who post ‘anti-national’ or ’anti-social’ content on their social media accounts.

Bihar DGP SK Singhal issued a directive on February 1, stating that “any person who gets involved in road blockades, protest demonstrations or other activities that affected law and order and against whom the police issues a charge-sheet for involvement in a criminal activity, must be awarded an adverse entry in character verification certificate”.

The directive further states that “such people must be prepared for dire consequences since they would stand deprived of government jobs and contracts” as well, report Outlook. The directive mentions that services such as license for firearms, passport, character certificate, contractual jobs in government, work contracts in government departments, boards and commissions, licences for petrol pump and gas agency, government assistance or grant and bank loans will come under this new scrutiny, requiring a Police Verification Certificate.

A senior police official told the Hindustan Times that all the contractors, especially those engaged in the bidding process for construction of bus stands and vegetable markets, would have to obtain character certificates from the state police.

Bihar Additional DGP (Law and Order) Jitendra Kumar told The Indian Express that the new order was being wrongly interpreted. “The order does not put any curb on one’s democratic right to protest. But if one is involved in any criminal activity in the course of such protests, it will reflect in one’s character certificate.”

Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav took to twitter to criticise this move.



“In a challenge to Hitler and Mussolini, Nitish Kumar says if someone uses his democratic right against government by staging dharna-protest, he will not get a government job, which means neither will jobs be given, nor will protest be allowed. How this hapless chief minister with 40 seats is frightened!,” states the tweet in Hindi.

Last week, Bihar Police’s Economic Offences Unit (EOU) had issued a circular calling upon Bihar police to take action against persons and organisations posting “objectionable and indecent” comments (online) against the State government, Minister, MLAs and even MPs and government officials, under IT Act and Indian Penal Code. This circular had also met with a lot of criticism.


IE reported that at a conference of police officers held on February 2 Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar asked the police to maintain a record of people who post “anti-national” or “anti-social” content on social media. Responding to a question about what constitutes “anti-national” comments, Kumar reportedly defined it as, “Whoever is writing against national unity and integrity, that is anti-national.”

“First, an opportunity will be provided to a person when he makes any such posts by way of counselling. But if a person does not mend his ways, a record of his posts will be maintained. No amendment in any law or rule will be required to start mentioning ‘anti-national’ posts in the police verification,” Kumar added.

The DGP denied that he had introduced something new or drastic and explained that there is a clause in passport law to not issue passports to anyone indulging in anti-national activities, while admitting that the use of social media to “escalate tension” during the Republic day tractor parade may have prompted this decision.

“As a police officer I stand against anything that falls into the category of anti-national activities as defined by our Constitution…Deterrents like these are necessary to discourage the growing misuse of social media and send a message to users to be more responsible,” said Kumar during the conference.


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