Police personnel in Uttar Pradesh have been directed to exercise restraint while posting on social media and avoid any “politically coloured” remarks that may call into question their impartiality in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
“We have advised our personnel to avoid social media updates which might be controversial and show them favouring any political party. The message should not go that cops are for or against any political party,” Director General of Police (DGP) OP Singh told PTI.
By showing “restraint” in their social media activities, police personnel can discharge their duties better and people can come to them with their grievances without any fear, he said.
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The advisory to the police personnel also said that they “should avoid taking any gift from any political party or candidate, avoid posting politically coloured social media updates and remain impartial and non-partisan during the polls”.
The police personnel have been asked not to get influenced by any political party or indulge in harassment of political workers, leaders or supporters.
“The policemen through their conduct should not express support for any political personality or group,” he said, asking them to avoid discussing voting preferences for any party or leader.
The UP Police has around 1.85 lakh personnel.
The DGP had issued an advisory in October last year after the murder of Apple executive Vivek Tiwari in the state capital in which two constables were allegedly involved. The two cops were sacked after the incident.
The family members and friends of the two sacked constables had started a campaign on social media in their favour, even soliciting funds from people to fight their case.
After the media reports regarding this, the DGP had issued a 17-point charter for the police personnel on social media activities to prevent any “bad name to the force”. For polls, the UP DGP has asked the personnel to honestly discharge their duties before and during the polling process in the state, which accounts for 80 Lok Sabha seats.
The Election Commission has announced the schedule for polls, which will be held in seven phases in Uttar Pradesh between April 11 and May 19, with the counting of votes to be held on May 23. Votes would be cast on April 11, 18, 23 and 29 and May 6, 12 and 19 in UP.