The warning by the Bihar police of legal action being taken against users of social media for “offensive” posts targeting the government, its Ministers and officials, betrays both hypersensitivity and ignorance of the law. It represents an unacceptable combination of low tolerance for criticism and a zeal to cow down the public. The Economic Offences Wing, which also deals with cyber-crime, has sent a circular to the department secretaries that they could inform the wing about such “offensive posts” so that it could act against them, terming such actions as “against prescribed law”. Presumably, the action contemplated is for an alleged cyber-crime. Even though the letter from the Inspector General of Police concerned makes no mention of any specific penal provision, it is a possible reference to Section 66A of the IT Act, as there is no other section that deals with “offensive” remarks. Section 66A, which dealt with “Punishment for sending offensive messages through communication

The political crisis triggered by Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli’s decision to dissolve Nepal’s Parliament and call fresh elections led to a vertical split in the ruling party, with the rival faction led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ sacking Mr. Oli from its general membership. The Prachanda faction of the Nepal Communist Party had removed Mr. Oli as the party’s chairman earlier. It had issued a notice to him seeking an explanation for his decision to recommend Parliament’s dissolution, to which he did not respond. Following this, the central committee of the Prachanda bloc met on Sunday and decided to expel Mr. Oli. His aides have rejected this, saying their leader remains the PM. This puts Nepal and its fractious communist movement in limbo. Mr. Oli has claimed that he represents the party, while Mr. Prachanda and Madhav Kumar Nepal, a former PM and leader of Mr. Oli’s erstwhile Communist Party of Nepal (UML), have ruled out any future compromise with the PM. The constitutional
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