Chairman Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Yasin Malik Wednesday slammed the government for its “dictatorial” social media gag order for employees.
“Dictatorial order suppressing use of social media by government employees resembles to that of North Korean dictatorship,” Malik said in a statement.
“Fraud politicians who once used to make hue and cry on human rights violations and propagated healing touch and battle of ideas by their undemocratic diktats have turned Kashmir into a military dictatorship where every voice of dissent is being suppressed by military might,” he said.
Malik said that “fascist regime ruling Jammu Kashmir led by Mehbooba Mufti is setting new records of authoritarianism in the name of democracy.”
He said “this regime has banned every peaceful political activity, restricted every peaceful protest and choked even the tiniest of political space in Jammu Kashmir.”
“Thousands of young and old, men and even women and even minors have been jailed for raising their voices. Hundreds of students are being penalized for making hue and cry against killings, blinding and maiming. From a seven year minor to an 80 year old are languishing in jails under black law PSA and to prolong their incarceration repeated PSA’s are being slapped on them,” he said.
The government on Tuesday barred its employees from using their social media accounts for any political activity by amending the conduct rules for them.
The government has added a sub-rule in the Jammu and Kashmir Government Employees Conduct rules which states that no government employee shall engage in any criminal, dishonest, immoral or notoriously disgraceful conduct on social media which may be prejudicial to the government.
“They shall also not use their personal social media accounts for any political activity or endorse the posts or tweets or blogs of any political figure,” the rule states.
Terming the measure “highly undemocratic and arbitrary”, the CPI(M) urged the government to withdraw the order at the earliest.
“The order is highly undemocratic and arbitrary. The government must reconsider its decision and withdraw this authoritarian measure in order to avoid unrest in the ranks of its employees,” it said in a statement.
National Conference cautioned the PDP-BJP government against “portraying lakhs of hard-working government employees of the State as terrorists and anti-social elements to cover its own utter and complete failure on both the governance and the political front.”
In a statement, party spokesperson Junaid Azim Mattu said the “social media diktat issued by the government is an obnoxious, tyrannical and unacceptable insult to employees and depicts the regressive mindset of the Mehbooba Mufti government.”
“The diktat aims to defame and vilify lakhs of government employees as either terrorists or anti-social elements who are apparently unable to differentiate between right and wrong in conducting themselves on a day-to-day basis,” he said.