Intel Agencies suggest govt staff propagating separatism, Prompts state to set guidelines

In October 2016, the state government had sacked its 12 employees for participating in anti-India protests.
The sacked employees were among 150 government servants, including some gazetted officers, identified by the CID wing of the J&K Police for instigating violence or challenging the integrity of the nation on the social media.
The employees were identified after intelligence agencies kept a strict vigil on their posts on the social media during the unrest in the Valley following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8, 2016.
The J&K Government issued an order on Tuesday to set guidelines on the usage of social media by the government employees.
Highly placed sources said the order was issued after getting feedback from various intelligence agencies.
“Intelligence agencies have informed that a large number of government employees are propagating separatism and encouraging violence,” an intelligence officer in the J&K Police said.
“Even some employees are using official computers or laptops to preach secessionist ideology through social the media,” the officer said.
Sources said although the state government had blocked 125 Twitter accounts and 79 WhatsApp groups following the violence in 2016, more than 100 WhatsApp groups and 125 Facebook accounts with over 6,000 mobile phones were spitting venom against the country through the social media.
While setting the guidelines for its employees, the government has made it clear that “Employees should be aware that the law enforcement agencies will observe content and information made available by them through social media. They should use their best judgement in posting material that is neither inappropriate nor harmful to the state.”
On April 26 this year, the state government had banned 22 social networking sites and applications, including Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter, in Kashmir on the ground that they were being misused by anti-national and anti-social elements to fan trouble. However, the ban was lifted after a month on May 26 following opposition by the civil society and other groups.

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