The government has told Twitter to explain within "five working days" why it showed Leh as part of Jammu and Kashmir instead of a separate Union Territory, sources have said. If Twitter doesn't respond or if it's not "satisfactory", sources said the government has several options - it can block access to Twitter under the Information Technology Act, and a police case can be filed with up to six-month imprisonment.
In a notice to the micro-blogging platform owned by Jack Dorsey, the government said showing Leh as part of Jammu and Kashmir was a "deliberate attempt by Twitter to undermine the will of sovereign parliament of India which had declared Ladakh as a Union Territory with its headquarters in Leh", the sources said.
The government said Twitter should explain why legal action should not be taken against the website and its representatives for "disrespecting the territorial integrity of India by showing incorrect map."
A Twitter spokesperson said, "Twitter remains committed to partnering with government of India and Ministry of Electronics and IT to serve the public conversation. Duly responded to the letter and as part of our correspondence, shared a comprehensive update with latest developments regarding geo-tag issue."
Earlier, Twitter had also shown Leh as part of China, after which the secretary of the Electronics and Information Technology Ministry had written to Jack Dorsey. In response, Twitter had made changes but it has not yet corrected the map to show Leh under the Union Territory of Ladakh. It is still showing Leh as part of Jammu and Kashmir.
In the previous matter, the geo-location of Leh was shown on Twitter as part of China. In that case also, the government had conveyed to Twitter that any attempt by the social media giant to "disrespect sovereignty and integrity of India, which is also reflected by the maps, is totally unacceptable" and "unlawful".
Ladakh was carved out from Jammu and Kashmir and granted the Union Territory status on August 5 last year when the centre scrapped special status under Article 370 of the Constitution and divided it into two Union Territories - Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.