New Delhi, Feb 11 :
The Congress Tuesday wrote to Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde seeking strict action in cases of incidents of intolerance by “right wing elements” against journalists and intellectuals.
The party said “massive hate-mongering” was being carried out everyday in the online space against those who do not subscribe to a particular ideology or leader.
Congress general secretary Ajay Maken said those making comments about the Bharatiya Janata Party or its affiliated organisations were getting “threats on the social media”.
“Threats like this were being made for the first time since Independence. This is being done especially against mediapersons. Congress condemns it… we have asked for inquiry,” he said.
“I would like to bring to your notice incidents of trolling and stalking of senior journalists like Sagarika Ghosh, Rajdeep Sardesai and Srinivasan Jain who were openly threatened and abused on their twitter handles,” he said.
“The case of Vidya Subrahmaniam being stalked and harassed by right wing elements may be recalled.”
Maken alleged that Hasiba Amin, a National Students Union of India activist who featured in the Congress party’s print and video advertisement campaign, was “severely harassed” on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
“Vicious as they are, such attacks especially on the online and social media platforms, threaten our fundamental constitutional guarantee of free speech and expression,” Maken wrote in the letter.
Without naming the BJP, the letter said the incidents were perpetrated by followers of a particular personality and political party and were often followed by “stalking on the phone and otherwise as well as acts of threats of individuals who do not subscribe to a particular right wing world view in public domain.”
Maken said such acts of abuse, harassment and electronic stalking were punishable offences under Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
“It is also brought to your notice the perpetrators of such acts openly challenge the victims to sue them in any BJP-ruled state.
“It will only be imperative now that strictest action as per law against such repressive and intolerant elements is taken,” Maken said.