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Ghaziabad assault video: UP police send legal notice to Twitter India head

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  • He has been asked to give his statement within 7 days; Twitter was accused of inciting communal violence after video of attack on man in Loni in Ghaziabad went viral

Ghaziabad: Within days of losing its ‘intermediary’ protection in India, pressure has started building on Twitter. Ghaziabad police in Uttar Pradesh have sent legal notice to Twitter India for ‘provoking communal unrest’ and ‘inciting communal violence’. The charges relate to a viral video of assault of an elderly man in Loni.

The notice has been sent to Manish Maheshwari, managing director of Twitter India. He has been asked to go to the police station and record his statement within seven days.

“A few persons used Twitter as a tool to spread hatred in the society through Twitter Communication India and Twitter Inc, but they did not take any action. They allowed it to become viral,” the notice, dated June 17, read.

The case

Recently, Twitter, several journalists and Congress leaders were named in an FIR  in Ghaziabad. The FIR, filed by UP police, had accused them of provocation and inciting communal violence.

Sufi Abdul Samad, the man who had been assaulted, had alleged that the attackers cut off his beard and forced him to chant ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Jai Shri Krishna’.

UP police refuted the charged and said there was nothing communal about the incident. They claimed that the man had been attacked by a group of Hindus and Muslims who were angry at him for selling fake amulets.

Legal shield lost, Twitter becomes liable for action

The Centre withdrew the legal protection given to Twitter in India after the micro-blogging site failed to comply with the new rules under Information Technology Act. It can no longer claim protection from action because of third party content.

The new rules came into effect on May 26. The rules required Twitter to appoint India-based officers to handle grievances related to it in the country.

UP became the first state after this development to level criminal charges against Twitter.

 

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