UP Police sends notice to Twitter over Ghaziabad assault video
The Uttar Pradesh Police has sent a legal notice to Twitter's India head for allegedly "provoking communal unrest" in the recent case involving an assault on an elderly Muslim man in Ghaziabad near Delhi. Manish Maheshwari, the Managing Director of the social media company's India operations, has been asked to report to the Loni Border Police station and record his statement within seven days.
"Some people used their Twitter handle as a tool to spread hatred in the society and Twitter Communication India and Twitter Inc did not take any action against it. They let the anti-social messages go viral," the notice issued to Maheshwari read, according to ANI.
The legal notice comes just days after a First Information Report was filed in Ghaziabad against Twitter, news website The Wire, two journalists, and others, in connection with the assault case. They have been accused of not verifying their tweets on the issue, thus giving a "communal angle" to it. The companies and journalists have been booked for provocation of riots and criminal conspiracy.
For the unversed, a video showing Abdul Samad being assaulted in Ghaziabad's Loni area went viral on Twitter and other social media platforms a few days ago. While he claimed in a separate video he was beaten up by Hindu men and forced to chant "Jai Shree Ram," the police said there was "no communal angle" to the incident.
Meanwhile, another police complaint over the matter has been lodged in Delhi, naming Maheshwari, film actor Swara Bhasker, journalist Arfa Khanum Sherwani, among others. The complaint was filed at the capital city's Tilak Marg Police station by advocate Amit Acharya, seeking registration of an FIR against the aforementioned people. The Delhi Police said it has launched a probe into the allegations.
This is not the first time Maheshwari is facing legal trouble as his company's representative. Just weeks ago, he was reportedly questioned by a team of the Delhi Police in relation with a "toolkit," allegedly created and circulated by the Congress party. Cops from Delhi had traveled to Bengaluru to question him after visiting Twitter's offices in Delhi and Gurugram.
Legal troubles for Twitter - which recently lost legal protection in India over non-compliance of the Indian government's new IT rules - do not seem to stop. The Parliamentary Standing Committee for Information and Technology is scheduled to meet this afternoon and Twitter officials have also been summoned to appear before the committee, News18 has reported.