Uttarakhand Police has decided to check social media behaviour of applicants before giving passport clearances. At a meeting on the role of social media platforms in recent times chaired by the Uttarakhand Director General of Police, the Uttarakhand Police decided to make social media behaviour examination of passport applicants a part of the verification process.
Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar said in a bid to stop increasing misuse of social media platforms to foment trouble, online behaviour of passport applicants needs to be scrutinised. The DGP defended this decision by saying he had only spoken in favour of enforcing an already existing clause in the passport law and had not introduced a "new or drastic" measure.
Kumar said, "There is a clause in the passport law not to issue the document to anyone indulging in anti-national activities. I have only spoken in favour of its enforcement. As a police officer, I stand against anything that falls into the category of anti-national activities as defined by our Constitution."
Police only check whether FIRs are lodged against the passport applicants. While answering a question on the role of social media in the tractor parade pandemonium on Republic Day, Kumar said the way in which social media was used to "escalate tension", it may have been used either as a catalyst or taking a call. He added, "Deterrents like these are necessary to discourage the growing misuse of social media and send a message to users to be more responsible."
With PTI inputs; by Mehak Agarwal