The Crisis of Democracy in Telangana

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Freedom of expression is at stake in Telugu States. In recent past Andhra govt arrested an individual for posting anti govt images in Facebook and  now in Telangana a TSRTC bus conductor, who allegedly criticized CM KCR in social media posts, is facing a Vigilance Department probe and may be suspended.

D Sanjeev, posted at Nizamabad-1 depot, was summoned by the TSRTC Vigilance and Security Officer at Karimnagar for his statement on why he criticized the CM on Facebook and WhatsApp.

Sanjeev said his posts only highlighted problems faced by the TSRTC staff. “We have not been given uniforms in four years. The existing ones are in a pathetic condition and it is embarrassing to wear them. So in a Facebook post, I requested the CM to give us uniforms. It seems they took it as criticism of the CM. They have initiated an inquiry and are harassing me.”

A Vigilance Department official said it was a casual inquiry against Sanjeev as it had come to their notice that he was posting highly critical comments against the CM and TSRTC management.

What Section 66A says:

“Any person who sends, by means of a computer resource or a communication device

(a) any information that is grossly offensive or has menacing character; or

(b) any information which he knows to be false, but for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred or ill will, persistently by making use of such computer resource or a communication device,

(c) any electronic mail or electronic mail message for the purpose of causing annoyance or inconvenience or to deceive or to mislead the addressee or recipient about the origin of such messages, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine.”

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