Loni case: UP Police asks Twitter India MD to appear in person on June 24

GHAZIABAD: The Ghaziabad Police on Monday directed managing director of Twitter India, Manish Maheshwari, to appear in person on June 24 at the Loni Border Police Station, in connection with the probe into the circulation of a viral video clip of an assault of an elderly man on the social media platform.
Maheshwari was summoned after his reply to a notice the Ghaziabad Police had served him last week in which he was asked to report at the Loni Border police station within seven days to get his statement recorded in the case.
Ghaziabad Police on Monday directed the Twitter India MD to appear in person on June 24 at 10:30 am at the Police Station Loni Border.
“The e-mail sent by you dated June 18 has been received. From which it is clear that you are refraining from cooperating in the investigative proceedings. The explanation given by you is not justified in any way,” Ghaziabad Police notice said.
“It is a fact to our knowledge that as the MD of Twitter India, you are the representative of Twitter in India, therefore you are bound by Indian law to cooperate in this investigation. You have the power to decide in the context of India as to which tweet circulated in the country through the handle of Twitter India should be removed in the larger interest of maintaining the security and goodwill of the public and the state,” it added
The notice further said that “due to the said malicious tweet published on the Twitter platform, a tense atmosphere was created in the society, the enmity between different groups of the country increased, and social harmony was also threatened. It was tweeted by Ghaziabad Police from its official Twitter platform that the news in question is fake and it was within your jurisdiction to stop the spread of this false information, but you failed to do so.”
“You are directed to be present on June 24 at 10:30 am at the police station Loni border office to personally register your statement in this regard…In the event of non-attendance, it will be considered as an attempt to create resistance in the due process of law and to fail the investigation and further action will be taken,” the notice added.
Meanwhile, Twitter has lost its status as an intermediary platform in India as it does not comply with the new IT rules. According to the sources, Twitter is the only social media platform among the mainstream that has not adhered to the new laws.
Now, instead of being considered just a platform hosting content from various users, Twitter will be held directly editorially responsible for posts published on its platform.
The implication of this development is that if there is any charge against Twitter for alleged unlawful content it would be treated as a publisher – not an intermediary – and be liable for punishment under any law, including IT Act, as also the penal laws of the country, sources stated.
The Uttar Pradesh Police on June 16, filed FIR against nine entities, including Twitter India in connection with the Loni incident.
In the FIR, the Police had said, “There is no communal angle to the incident in Loni where a man was thrashed and his beard was chopped off. The following entities — The Wire, Rana Ayyub, Mohammad Zubair, Dr Shama Mohammed, Saba Naqvi, Maskoor Usmani, Salman Nizami — without checking the fact, started giving communal colour to the incident on Twitter and suddenly they started spreading messages to disrupt the peace and bring differences between the religious communities.”

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