UP Police Lodged FIR Against Twitter With 8 Others; Know Here Why?

by Shatakshi Gupta

The UP police have registered an FIR against 9 people including Twitter India and 2 Congress leaders. The FIR has been registered for giving communal colour to an incident. Against Twitter, it is alleged that the platform did not take any steps to remove the misleading tweet despite the police clarifying the matter completely. Police have registered an FIR against Mohammad Zubair, Rana Ayyub, The Wire, Salman Nizami, Maskoor Usmani, Shama Mohammad, Saba Naqvi, Twitter Communication India Pvt Ltd and Twitter INC in the case.

What is the whole issue?

The Ghaziabad Police had registered an FIR after a video of an elderly man named Abdul Samad being assaulted and molested in the Loni area went viral.  This action was taken on several news websites and Twitter due to the incident was given a communal colour without investigating. In a video going viral on social media, it is seen that an elderly Muslim was beaten up and his beard was cut.

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According to the police, the truth of the incident is different. The victim elderly had given some amulet ( tavij)  to the accused,  the accused did not get the desired result, after this, the angry accused beaten him. However, Twitter did not tag this video as “manipulated media”. The police also told that the victim has not registered in his FIR about raising slogans of Jai Shri Ram and cutting his beard.

 Among those who have been booked, Ayub and Naqvi are journalists, while Zubair is the author of fact-checking website Alt News. Dr.Shama Mohammed and Nizami are Congress leaders.  At the same time, Usmani, the former president of Aligarh Muslim University students’ union, was fielded by Congress as a candidate in the Bihar assembly elections in October-November last year.

Responding to this, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath tweeted, “The first lesson of Lord Shri Ram is to speak the truth, which you have never done in life. You should be ashamed that even after telling the truth by the police, you are engaged in spreading poison in the society.”

Twitter was not complying with the new IT rules

Twitter has been hit hard for not complying with the new IT rules.  According to the news agency, Twitter has now lost the legal protection in India. Twitter has not yet implemented the IT rules implemented by the government from May 25, after which this action has been taken against it.

All social media platforms are provided security under section 79 of the IT act by the central government.This protection was also available to Twitter. In this, the company was not responsible for any criminal activity on the platform and the company could not be made a party in any suit.

However, under the new IT rule, the government had asked social media companies to appoint a Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) within a month, who would resolve user complaints. In the absence of appointment, the government had warned of ending the protection under section 79. After this, on June 15, the first FIR has been lodged against Twitter.

 Earlier on Tuesday, Twitter said that it has appointed an interim Chief Grievance Officer as per the new guidelines of the Information Technology Ministry. Twitter will soon share its details with the central government. Twitter has taken this step when the government gave it the last deadline to follow the guideline. In its notice, the government had told Twitter that if it fails to follow the guidelines, it will lose the exemption from responsibility under the IT Act.

 It has been said in the FIR that without checking the truth on Twitter, all these people gave a communal colour to the incident. The video was made viral on their behalf with the aim of disturbing harmony in the society and inciting religious groups. According to the police, the incident took place due to a personal dispute between the victim and the miscreants. People from both Hindu and Muslim sects were involved in this, but the accused presented the incident in such a way as to create tension between the two religious groups.