In an attempt to quell the dissenting voices on social media platforms, especially Twitter, Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra have started handing out notices via Direct Message on Twitter to people who have made ‘offensive’ tweets against the state government or Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. Maharashtra cyber police have been sending notices on Direct Notice to Twitter users for tweets considered as offensive by the govt.
In a series of tweets, a Twitter user who goes by the handle @NidarNaari claimed that the Maharashtra government is clamping down on the tweets that show the state government and the chief minister in a bad light. She added that Maharashtra cyber police will be issuing a warning for posting offensive tweets and if such posts didn’t stop, a complaint will be filed against the user under Section 149 of CrPC.
Also, your Tweet will be deleted by @TwitterIndia— Sunaina Vinod (@NidarNaari) July 3, 2020
The Twitter user also alleged that posts deemed as objectionable by the government will be subsequently removed by Twitter India and the social media user will receive a call from the Cyber Cell, asking him/her to visit the police station.
You will be asked to visit Police Station..— Sunaina Vinod (@NidarNaari) July 3, 2020
Be careful 🙏
Another Twitter user shared a screenshot of the notice that was sent by the Maharashtra government on Direct Message, apparently for calling a driver as a driver in one of the tweets.
चालकाला चालक म्हणल्यास मिरची लागण्याचे कारण काय ? एवढीच लाज वाटते तर गाडी चालवायची नाही मग..!— अघोरी मोक्षा™ (@aghori_moksha) July 3, 2020
तुमचे चेले सात तास चलवली म्हणून मिरवतात आणि आम्ही ड्रायव्हर म्हणलं तर आम्हाला नोटिसा पाठवता,पोलीस स्टेशन वरून फोन करून हजर व्हायला सांगतां..?
बाईल्यांनो बांगड्यां घाला भित्रीभागूबाई.! pic.twitter.com/xkgMajib8M
The notice from the Maharashtra Cyber Cell read that the user had used social media platforms for posting offensive/ abusive/ defamatory/ malicious posts.
“Maharashtra Cyber Police Department, the nodal agency for cyber in Maharashtra State is hereby issuing you a notice under Section 149 CRPC for posting offensive messages. You are warned to refrain from doing so, as it is an offence under Information Technology Act, IPC and other relevant applicable laws,” the message received on Personal Message read.
On May 20, the Maharashtra Cyber Police had posted messages on its Twitter account informing that anyone found posting offensive / abusive / defamatory / malicious posts will be issued notices under section 149 of CRPC. They had said that posting such offensive messages is an offense under Information Technology Act, IPC and other laws of the land, and had urged people from refrain from posting such messages. They had informed that they will send notices individually to users posting offensive messages in their inboxes.