LUCKNOW: The Bajrang Dal has filed a complaint with police against Twitter’s country head after the micro-blogging platform displayed a distorted map of India, showing Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh as separate country.
That provoked an outcry on social media this week that comes amid strained relations between Twitter and New Delhi over the firm’s compliance with India’s new IT rules.
The complaint accuses Twitter’s India boss Manish Maheshwari and another company executive of breaching the country’s IT rules as well as laws designed to prevent enmity and hatred between classes.
“This has hurt my sentiments and those of the people of India,” Praveen Bhati, a leader of the group Bajrang Dal in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, said in the complaint which was reviewed by Reuters. He also called it an act of treason.
Twitter did not respond to a request for comment. As of Tuesday, the map was no longer visible on its site.
This is, however, not the first time that Twitter has shown a distorted map of India. The Centre had last year written to the Twitter CEO, conveying its strong disapproval over the misrepresentation of the map of India after Twitter showed the geo-location of Leh in Jammu and Kashmir, People’s Republic of China.
In a warning, the government said any attempt by Twitter to disrespect India’s “sovereignty and integrity is totally unacceptable”.
Maheshwari was only this month summoned by police in Uttar Pradesh for failing to stop the spread of a video that allegedly incited religious discord. Maheshwari has won relief from a court in that case.
Twitter and the government have been at loggerheads over multiple instances in the past months
India’s technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has criticised Twitter for its failure to abide by new Indian rules and for denying him access to his Twitter account.
To comply with rules that came into effect in May, companies such as Twitter must appoint a chief compliance officer, a grievance officer and another executive who will liaise with law enforcement and the government on legal requests. LinkedIn job postings show the three positions that are open on Twitter.
A senior government official has previously told Reuters that Twitter may no longer be eligible to seek liability exemptions as an intermediary or the host of user content in India due to its failure to comply with the new IT rules. Activists say, however, it is a matter for the courts to decide.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.
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