Twitter did not 'remove false tweets': Delhi lawyer files police complaint against Twitter Inc, Swara Bhaskar, three others

Delhi-based lawyer Amit Acharya has filed a police complaint against actress Swara Bhaskar, "Twitter Inc", "Twitter Communication India Pvt Ltd" and Twitter India MD Manish Maheswari, for "not taking any action" to remove "false tweets".

The complaint comes after an elderly Muslim man was reportedly beaten up in a town in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad district on 5 June, and the video of the abuse went viral on Twitter. Tweets around the incident indicated that the victim was forced to chant “Jai Shree Ram” by the attackers, a claim that was later denied by the Ghaziabad Police.

Based on a separate complaint by another individual, an FIR was filed in relation to this incident on 15 June, against nine accused including “Twitter Inc” and “Twitter Communications India Pvt Ltd”.

In his complaint, Acharya claims that Swara Bhaskar, Mohammed Asif Khan and Arfa Khanum Sherwani, used Twitter to start "propaganda to spread hate amongst the citizens" and "gave communal colours to the incident".

Image: Pixabay

He adds in his complaint that the tweets about the elderly Muslim man's abuse were shared by the accused with intent to "initiate conspiracy against religious harmony in the country to encourage hate and enmity between the religious groups".

Acharya, in his complaint, also writes that "Twitter Inc", "Twitter Communication India Pvt Ltd" and Twitter India MD Manish Maheswari "did not take any action to remove these false tweets" and did not "filter these tweets as manipulated media". He also claims that the company's "sole objective" was to "disturb the peace and harmony among the citizens of India".

He demands that the accused be punished "as per the law of the land in the interest of justice".

Currently, it's unclear if an FIR has been registered based on the report.

Incidentally, Acharya has also filed a petition in the Delhi High Court, seeking directions to Twitter to comply with the new IT rules.

(Also read: Explained: Twitter loses "legal shield" in India: What it means for the platform, why it happened)

Below are some of the tweets Acharya annexed in the complaint:

(Also read: Twitter appoints interim Chief Compliance Officer for India; says additional details will be shared with IT Ministry directly)



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