Twitter Chief Says Available On Video Call For Questioning By UP Police

Last week, Manish Maheshwari, Managing Director of Twitter in India, was asked to report to a police station at Loni Border near Delhi and record his statement within seven days.

Twitter Chief Says Available On Video Call For Questioning By UP Police

Twitter India chief was sent a notice last week in the case.

New Delhi:

Days after a legal notice was sent to Twitter's India head over posts linked to the assault of a Muslim man in Ghaziabad, the police have been told he is available for questioning on video call.

An FIR was filed last week against Twitter India, several journalists and Congress leaders after the elderly man - Abdul Samad - alleged that he was thrashed by some men and forced to chant "Jai Sri Ram" and "Vande Matram". Tweets were shared with a clear motive to "provoke communal sentiments", said the FIR, adding that the "misleading" posts were re-tweeted by thousands of people.

On Friday, Manish Maheshwari, Managing Director of Twitter in India, was asked to report to a police station at Loni Border near Delhi and record his statement within seven days.

Replying to the notice, he said said he "does not deal with the case directly".

The Ghaziabad police, however, is reportedly not satisfied with the reply. Twitter may get a second notice from the Uttar Pradesh police in the case.

This is the first case against the social media giant after the government's new rules for online news publishing platforms came into effect. Hitting out at the social media, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had last week said "what happened in UP was illustrative of Twitter's arbitrariness in fighting fake news". "While Twitter has been over enthusiastic about its fact checking mechanism, it's failure to act in multiple cases like UP is perplexing and indicates its inconsistency in fighting misinformation," he added.

The UP Police denied any "communal angle" in the case, adding that he was beaten up over the amulets he sold to some men, which they believe "didn't work". He was attacked by six men - Hindus and Muslims - and he knew them, police said

But Abdul Samad's family had denied the police's claims. "The police is wrong in saying that my father used to sell 'tabeez' (amulets). No one in our family does this business. We are carpenters. The police are not saying the right thing - let them investigate and prove it," Babloo Saifi, Abdul's son, told NDTV.

Journalists Rana Ayyub, Saba Naqvi, and Congress leaders Salman Nizami, Shama Mohamed and Maskoor Usmani are among those who have been accused of sharing "misleading" posts - linked to the incident.

The Editors Guild of India had condemned filing of police complaints against the news website "The Wire" and the journalists for their tweets. The journalists' body said it is "deeply concerned by the UP Police's track record of filing FIRs against journalists to deter them from reporting serious incidents without fear of reprisals."