The government on Tuesday suspended Ashish Joshi, a telecom department (DoT) official, who had asked the Delhi police to take action against suspended AAP MLA Kapil Mishra from Delhi for posting an "incendiary" video on YouTube.
The Communication Ministry in an order said, "Disciplinary proceeding against Ashish Joshi, an SAG officer of Post and Telegraph Department and presently posted as Controller of Communication Accounts, Uttarakhand, Dehradun is contemplated."
The competent authority in exercise of powers conferred by Sub-rule (1) of Rule 10 of the Central Civil Services Rules 1965, hereby places him under suspension with immediate effect, it added.
A senior official of the Ministry of Communications said, Ashish Joshi, a Post and Telegraph Department official, was suspended "for misusing his official position and creating confusion in the public and for violation of conduct rules" by lodging a complaint against Mishra on his official letterhead.
"Joshi was not doing it in his personal capacity but in official one," the official said.
Joshi on Monday had written to Delhi Police Commissioner for action against Kapil Mishra alleging that he has circulated a highly “incendiary video, provoking people to attack some citizens” on YouTube and Twitter in violation to IT Act and Indian Penal Code.
He had mentioned that licence conditions bar carriage of objectionable obscene, unauthorised or any other content, messages or communications in any form in the network and asked telcos to take immediate action against customers/subscribers for sending such messages as it is also a violation of customer declaration in customer application form.
"I saw the video on twitter. It has been uploaded on YouTube. The content of the video is self-explanatory and violates Indian Penal Code and IT Act," Joshi said in his letter to the Delhi Police.
"The letter is issued in public interest," Joshi added.
Soon after the letter was shared by Joshi on Twitter, many people retweeted it. Senior journalist Barkha Dutt, senior Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan, former AAP leader Ashutosh also retweeted demanding action against Mishra.
The suspended Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA then also took to twitter and said that he would lodge a complaint against Joshi, Bhushan, Kavita Krishnan and Ashutosh for circulating fake news against him.
"This man Ashish Joshi - misusing letterhead and playing agenda. This is not part of his job. Tomorrow I shall lodge a complaint for misusing his official position. I shall also lodge a complaint againsty Bhushan, Krishnan, Ashutosh for spreading false information about me."
"Another lie about me is also being spread that government has lodged a complaint against me. Ashish Joshi has miused his official letterhead. He is the same person who lodged a complaint against BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra. His only work is to promote the agenda of Left parties," Mishra said attaching few snapshots of the tweets shared by Joshi in the past.
This man @acjoshi - misusing letterhead & playing agenda— Kapil Mishra (@KapilMishra_IND) February 25, 2019
à¤¯à¥Â à¤Âà¤¨à¤Âà¥Â à¤¨à¥Âà¤Âà¤°à¥Â à¤Âà¤¾ à¤¹à¤¿à¤¸à¥Âà¤¸à¤¾ à¤¨à¤¹à¥Âà¤Â à¤¹à¥Âà¤Â
à¤Âà¤² à¤Âà¤¨à¤Âà¥Â à¤Âà¤¿à¤²à¤¾à¤« à¤ªà¤¦ à¤Âà¥Â à¤¦à¥Âà¤°à¥Âà¤ªà¤¯à¥Âà¤Â à¤Âà¥Â à¤¶à¤¿à¤Âà¤¾à¤¯à¤¤ à¤Âà¥Â à¤Âà¤¾à¤Âà¤Âà¥Â
à¤Âà¤² @pbhushan1 @kavita_krishnan @ashutosh83B à¤Âà¥Â à¤Âà¤¿à¤²à¤¾à¤« à¤à¥Â à¤Âà¥Âà¤ à¤«à¥Âà¤²à¤¾à¤¨à¥Â à¤Âà¤° à¤®à¥Âà¤°à¥Â à¤Âà¤¿à¤²à¤¾à¤« à¤¹à¤¿à¤Âà¤¸à¤¾ à¤Âà¤¾ à¤®à¤¾à¤¹à¥Âà¤² à¤¬à¤¨à¤µà¤¾à¤¨à¥Â à¤Âà¥Â à¤¶à¤¿à¤Âà¤¾à¤¯à¤¤ à¤¦à¤°à¥Âà¤Â à¤Âà¤°à¤µà¤¾à¤Âà¤Âà¤Âà¤¾ https://t.co/AGnWgwxHyj
The entire controversy erupted after Mishra on Monday morning recited and posted a video of a poem on Twitter hitting out at the so-called enemies of the nation within the country.
"It's Now or Never. Pull them out on streets, as the traitors are hiding inside our house. Kapil Mishra exposing Terrorism supporters in India," he said in his tweet.
Reacting sharply to the video of Mishra, Shehla Rashid, Barkha Dutt, Bhushan, Ashutosh, Krishnan took to Twitter to lodge a protest.
"Dear IPS Madhur Vermaji, this person who has a huge following and is an MLA from Delhi, is giving an open, emotive call to people to enter our homes, drag us to the streets and lynch us," Rashid tweeted.
"What a revolting man. This is direct incitement to violence and lynchijg and merits a jail term and account being scrapped ASAP cc," Dutt tweeted.
Joshi on February 19 had also issued an order to telecom operators to crack down on offensive or obscene messages to people and set up a helpline to receive complaints against such customers.
Joshi's Twitter account has also been deleted by the micro-blogging site.
Mishra also took to Twitter to share the news of Joshi's suspension. "This man Ashish Joshi has been suspended from his job," he tweeted.