Complaint filed against Twitter India, MD Manish Maheshwari for 'spreading communal hatred'

By | Written by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Jul 04, 2021 08:05 AM IST

The complaint, a lawyer, has accused Twitter India of not taking down controversial posts shared by handle Atheist Republic. He has also said that Twitter India is acting in connivance with the said handle.

Microblogging website Twitter, which is already facing problems in India over various issues, is now in fresh trouble. A complaint has been filed with the Delhi Police's cyber cell against Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari for allegedly spreading communal hatred.

Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari has already been named in different complaints against the microblogging platform.
Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari has already been named in different complaints against the microblogging platform.

A non-profit organisation has also been named in the complaint, news agency ANI reported. It has been filed by an advocate Aditya Singh Deshwal, according to ANI.

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The complainant has flagged a picture of Goddess Kali shared by the handle Atheist Republic and said that content posted by the Twitter users was not only abusive but has been posted for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred and ill will in society.

"It would also be not out of place to mention here that these posts have been put by the said user deliberately, to outrage the religious feelings of Hindus to insult our religious beliefs," the advocate said.

He has asked registration of an FIR against Twitter Communications India Prviate Ltd, Manish Maheshwari, MD, Twitter India, Shagufta Kamran, Public Policy manager of Twitter India as well as Armin Navabi and Susanna Macintrye, the founder and CEO respectively of Republic Atheist.

Deshwal accused Twitter of showing blasphemous content from July 2011, in connivance with Armin Navab and Atheist Republic. He further said that the profile of Atheist Republic is full of such blasphemous content about Hindu Religion and other religions.

"Twitter on the other hand, as a Significant Social Media Intermediary (SSMN) has taken no steps to remove such content but in a blatant violation of Indian laws has been acting as an accomplice to the crime and showing such blasphemous and insulting content," the advocate's complaint said.

He accused Twitter of violating the provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 in the light of section 79 of Information Technology Act, 2000. Deshwal said that Maheshwari and and Kamran deliberately did not take any action to remove such objectionable content from the microblogging website.

Twitter is involved in a legal tussle with the Indian government, which has accused the US company of not following the new IT rules enacted by the Centre in May this year. The accounts of Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, and Union ministers and ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders faced trouble, leading to escalation of the standoff.

While the accounts of all these leaders are now functioning normally, the government has said that Twitter is not complying with the provisions of the new Indian act. Twitter, in turn, has raised concerns about the safety of its employees in India and flagged intimidation by the police.

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