A team of Delhi Police Special Cell arrived at the offices of Twitter India in Delhi and Gurugram on Monday evening to serve a notice to the microblogging platform in connection to it classifying as ‘manipulated” a tweet by BJP leader Sambit Patra on ‘Congress toolkit”.
This was necessitated as the police wanted to ascertain who was the right person to serve a notice to, as replies by Twitter India MD had been very ambiguous, said government sources.
There has been a lot of hue and cry today when Delhi Police went to serve a notice to Twitter, said the sources, adding that this is the third notice given to Twitter by Delhi Police.
Sources said that instead of cooperating with law enforcement, Twitter has tried to play victim by mischievously overplaying a routine procedure.
The team reached the the social site’s offices in Lado Sarai and Gurugram and sought a response to its notice to the site over a complaint regarding the alleged Covid-19 ‘toolkit’, an official said.
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‘Delhi Police is enquiring into a complaint in which clarification is sought from the Twitter regarding the classification of a tweet by Sambit Patra as ‘manipulative’. It appears that Twitter has some information which is not known to us on the basis of which they have classified it as such. This information is relevant to the enquiry. Special Cell which is conducting the enquiry wants to find out the truth. Twitter which has claimed to know the underlying truth should clarify,” a statement by the Delhi Police said.
It appears that Twitter has some information that is not known to the police. This information is relevant to the inquiry, Delhi Police PRO Chinmoy Biswal said.
The police, however, refused to divulge the contents of the complaint or the identity of the complainant. The BJP has accused the Congress of creating a ‘toolkit’ that seeks to tarnish the image of the country and Prime Minister Narendra Modi by calling the new strain of coronavirus as ‘India strain” or ‘Modi strain”.
However, the Congress has denied the allegation and claimed that the BJP is propagating a fake ‘toolkit’ to defame it. Last week, Twitter labelled as ‘manipulated media” a tweet by Patra on the alleged ‘toolkit’. Twitter says it ‘may label Tweets that include media (videos, audio, and images) that have been deceptively altered or fabricated”.
Biswal said the Delhi Police is inquiring into a complaint in connection with which a clarification has been sought from Twitter regarding the classification of a tweet by Patra as ‘manipulative”. ‘It appears that Twitter has some information which is not known to us on the basis of which they have classified it (Patra’s tweet) as such. This information is relevant to the inquiry. The Special Cell, which is conducting the inquiry, wants to find out the truth. Twitter, which has claimed to know the underlying truth, should clarify,” he said.
BJP leaders, including Patra, have posted numerous tweets to attack the Congress over the purported ‘toolkit’. On May 19, the Congress lodged a police complaint seeking registration of cases against BJP chief J P Nadda, Union minister Smriti Irani, BJP general secretary B L Santosh and Patra over the alleged forgery of documents.
The Chhattisgarh unit of the Congress’ students wing NSUI also lodged a complaint against Patra and former chief minister Raman Singh for allegedly ‘forging” the letterhead of AICC Research Department and printing ‘false and fabricated” content on it. On the basis of the complaint, a case has been filed against Patra and Singh at the Civil Lines police station in Raipur.