DoT Official Suspended After Flagging MLA Kapil Mishra's 'Incendiary' Video

Ashish Joshi had complained about a video Mishra uploaded of him reciting a poem, in which he vowed to "wage war" against "traitors" who would be "dragged out of their homes onto the streets".

New Delhi: Ashish Joshi, the bureaucrat who complained to the commissioner of the Delhi Police over a “highly incendiary” video posted by former AAP leader Kapil Mishra, was on Tuesday suspended by the Department of Telecommunications.

He now faces disciplinary action.

Mishra had, on February 24, uploaded to Twitter a video of himself reciting a poem, in which he vowed to “wage war” against “traitors” who would be “dragged out of their homes onto the streets”. Subsequently, Joshi – the controller of communications account in Dehradun – wrote to Delhi CP Amulya Patnaik to register his concern.

Twitter forced Mishra to take the video down – not before it gained significant traction. YouTube has since removed the clip from its website as well.

Journalist Barkha Dutt, activists Kavita Krishnan and Shehla Rashid, politician Navjot Singh Sidhu and actor Naseeruddin Shah were all referred to as “traitors” in the video.

“Those who wanted me arrested by showing a fake letter, that person lost his job,” Mishra posted on Twitter on Tuesday. “This Ashish Joshi is suspended from his job.”

Speaking to the Hindustan Times on Monday, Joshi said, “I do not know most of the people the person has named in the video. I have filed a complaint in public interest. It is shocking when a person incites violence by asking people to come forward and drag people out of their homes.”

He had been trolled on social media by Mishra’s supporters after his complaint was shared publicly. Some even managed to get hold of this phone number, leading him to tweet his curiosity over how a “guy in Maharashtra” had come to know his number and that an “entire network” of such trolls is “working in tandem”.

After journalists Ravish Kumar and Abhisar Sharma began receiving threats and obscenities from strangers earlier this month, Joshi wrote to all telecom operators. Quoting their phone numbers, he directed telecom companies to take action against the abusers. He also sent a copy of the letter to the telecom secretaries and police chiefs of all states. In it, he alluded to the Licence Agreement as dictating that the onus is on “telecom operators to ensure that their networks are not used for obscene, malicious and objectionable transmission”.

As per the Department of Telecommunications, Joshi will continue to receive subsistence allowance – 50% of his basic pay in addition to “allowance as admissible”.