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Will seize passports of NRIs who post ‘hateful’ content on social media: Hyderabad top cop

The police commissioner’s disproportionate move to restrain online hate speech may not pass the legal test, experts say.

In a statement that has raised a few eyebrows, Hyderabad Police Commissioner CV Anand recently said that the passports of non-resident Indians who are found posting "hateful and derogatory posts" on social media platforms will be seized. Anand, who recently took over as the new Commissioner of Hyderabad City Police from Anjani Kumar, made these comments while addressing his first video conference with other police officials of the Commissionerate. Apart from seizing NRIs' passports, their visas too will be cancelled as per legal provisions, Anand said in a press release. The statement comes at a time when there has been increased scrutiny over sensitive, political content being shared on social media platforms. A while ago, several people including politicians and media organisations were booked by the UP police for sharing an ‘unverified’ video of an elderly Muslim man who was subjected to assault in Ghaziabad’s Loni district. Speedy trial for those who spread fake news on social media Anand instructed officers to be strict when it comes to social media harassment. In a press release, Anand said that those found harassing people by "morphing their photos and posting them on social media platforms with derogatory comments should be dealt with strictly." In addition to registering cases against those spreading fake news on social media, he expressed the desire for a speedy trial. Decision to seize passports is disproportionate and may not stand test of law: Experts While there is an absolute need to restrain hateful social media posts, the proposed…

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