DEHRADUN: The Uttarakhand Police has decided to scrutinise social media behaviour before giving their clearance for people applying for passports.
Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar said on Thursday that online behaviour of passport applicants needs to be scrutinised to stop growing misuse of social media platforms.
Uttarakhand Police had decided to make examination of social media behaviour of passport applicants a part of the verification process at a meeting chaired by the Director General of Police.
Justifying the decision, Kumar said the measure is needed to stop growing misuse of social media platforms to foment trouble.
However, the DGP denied he had introduced anything “new or drastic” saying he had only spoken in favour of enforcing a clause already there in the passport law.
“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,” Kumar said.
“As a police officer I stand against anything that falls into the category of anti-national activities as defined by our Constitution,” he said.
Replying to a question, he admitted that the way social media was used to “escalate tension” during the recent tractor parade in Delhi may have acted as a catalyst on taking the decision.
“Deterrents like these are necessary to discourage the growing misuse of social media and send a message to users to be more responsible,” he said.
Earlier, police only checked whether or not FIRs were lodged against passport applicants.
However, the decision to add scrutiny of social media behaviour of passport applicants to the police verification process was taken during the police conference where the role of social media platforms in recent times came up prominently for discussions.