Twitter Restricts 50 Tweets With Content Related to Loni Attack

Twitter India’s MD will be virtually questioned over posts on the assault of a Muslim man.

2 min read
A document dated 17 June, which flagged 50 tweets under ‘content auctioned in the jurisdiction’, was accessed by <b>The Quint</b> from Lumen Database on Monday, 21 June.

Twitter India has restricted 50 tweets featuring content related to the attack on an elderly Muslim man in Ghaziabad's Loni earlier this month.

A document titled 'Legal Demand from India' dated 17 June, which flags 50 tweets under 'content auctioned in the jurisdiction', was accessed by The Quint from Lumen Database on Monday, 21 June.

A message stating 'this tweet has been withheld in India in response to a legal demand' is flashed on the social media platform as one tries to access the first link in the document.

Twitter Restricts 50 Tweets With Content Related to Loni Attack

“As explained in our Country Withheld Policy, it may be necessary to withhold access to certain content in response to a valid legal demand or when the content has been found to violate local law(s). The withholdings are limited to the specific jurisdiction/country where the content is determined to be illegal," The Indian Express quoted a statement from Twitter.


UP Police's Notice to Twitter India

Meanwhile, on 17 June, the Uttar Pradesh police had sent a legal notice to Twitter India's Managing Director Manish Maheshwari for “provoking communal unrest” over posts relating to the assault.

The legal notice came a day after a Delhi-based lawyer Amit Acharya filed a criminal complaint against actor Swara Bhaskar, journalist Arfa Khanum, Twitter India Head Maheswari, and Md Asif Khan, for allegedly spreading fake news in the Loni case.

Maheshwari later stated that he’s ready to be available for questioning via video conferencing.

In a first such case against it, Twitter was named in an FIR on 15 June, by the Ghaziabad Police which accused the social media platform of not deleting tweets with regard to the incident.

The Centre, on previous occasions, had also asked the social media platform to remove tweets of several actors, activists, and journalists for questioning or criticising the administration.

What Had Happened?

On his way to Hajipur Bheta in UP’s Ghaziabad district, on the afternoon of 5 June, Abdul Samad Saifi, was allegedly abducted by a young auto driver in the guise of giving him a ride. However, what was supposed to be a short auto ride, was followed by hours of violence.

After the video of Saifi being attacked and his beard cut being off went viral, three different versions of what had happened emerged.

Saifi had claimed that he was abducted and others where he was also forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram”. However, the Ghaziabad Police have said that while the crime against him was heinous, the allegation of him being made to chant slogans is untrue.

The original complaint in the FIR did not mention several allegations, including the instance of him being made to chant “Jai Shri Ram”. However, Saifi's son told The Times of India, “The entire police narrative is concocted.”

The son had said what choice would his father have when being surrounded by men thrashing and abusing him. “You can make him say anything,” he said.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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