Police personnel of Chhattisgarh will face disciplinary action if they post or share social media messages criticising the government and its policies, a circular issued by state police chief D.M. Awasthi said on Monday.
The circular by the DGP came in the wake of a social media post by former Superintendent of Police, Sukma, Jitendra Shukla triggering political conytroversy.
In a Facebook post, Shukla criticized the government’s decision to transfer him, terming the action ‘unwanted’ and ‘unexpected’.
Later, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel told media that Shukla was removed for directly writing a letter to a minister, violating norms. .
Citing the Shukala’s Facebook post, the opposition BJP accused the government of trying to intimidate police force.
Amidst the controversy, the DGP in the notice directed officers that strict disciplinary action would be taken against anyone in the force found breaching the ban.
“Such act of policemen is violation of All India Civil Services (Conduct) Rule 1968, Section 7; and comes under category of misbehaviour,” reads the circular from the director general of police.
Awasthi’s circular, which was sent to officers across ranks, mentions provisions of the service code that says no staff member will criticise the government in any publication, dialogue, or public speech.
Under the police rule, policemen can express personal views on social issues but cannot criticise government-approved policies.