The Uttar Pradesh Police on Tuesday booked Twitter India chief Manish Maheshwari in connection with the platform portraying a wrong map of India on its website. Along with Maheshwari, one Amrita Tripathi has also been booked under section 505(2) of the IPC -- statement conducing to public mischief -- and section 74 of the IT (Amendment) Act, 2008.
Bulandshahr senior superintendent of police (SSP) Santosh Kumar Singh confirmed that a lawyer Praveen Bhati has lodged an FIR against officials of Twitter India for showing the incorrect map of India. The case was registered at the Khurja Nagar police station in Bulandshahr on the complaint of a local Bajrang Dal leader.
The case relates to a controversial map of India which earlier appeared on the career section of the Twitter website under the header ‘Tweep Life'. It was revealed earlier last weekend that the map actually showed Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, as a separate country. After the distorted map came under public scrutiny last weekend, it triggered a heavy censuring from netizens, and even though Twitter got rid of the contentious map on late Monday night, demands of strict action against the microblogging platform were raised.
Twitter is facing heavy backlash in India amid its stand-off with the central government over compliance with the new IT rules in the country. The Uttar Pradesh Police had earlier summoned Maheshwari for questioning in connection with an allegedly misleading video of an elderly Muslim man being assaulted in the Loni area of Ghaziabad district. The firm was also issued a second notice by Ghaziabad police to seek “account details” of the suspects accused by the police of posting and promoting the video.
Maheshwari, the managing director of Twitter India, had on Monday filed a caveat in anticipation of an appeal by the UP police against the relief granted to him by the Karnataka high court in connection with the investigation into the Loni assault case. Through his caveat, the Twitter official urged the top court to hear him before passing any order and be served a copy of any petition moved by Uttar Pradesh police.
Meanwhile, Twitter on Monday also appointed its US-based global legal policy director Jeremy Kessel as the new grievance officer for India. The rules, however, call for an Indian resident for the role.