The official Twitter handle of the Indian National Congress (@INCIndia) has been locked for ‘violating rules’, party leaders said on 12 August.
This follows the suspension of several INC leaders who said that their handles were suspended too and a week after senior leader Rahul Gandhi’s handle was temporarily suspended.
“Twitter acting under government pressure. It has already blocked 5,000 accounts of our leaders and workers across India. They need to understand that we cannot be pressurized by Twitter or the government,” said Rohan Gupta, social media head, INC.
The party had on 11 August said that Twitter suspended accounts of its media in-charge Randeep Surjewala, AICC general secretary and former minister Ajay Maken, party’s whip in Lok Sabha Manickam Tagore, Assam in-charge, and former Union minister Jitendra Singh and Mahila Congress president Sushmita Dev.
This comes after senior leader Rahul Gandhi’s handle was ‘temporarily’ locked by Twitter last week after the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights issued a notice to the micro-blogging site and asked it to remove the tweet in question
“So! After Shri @RahulGandhi, the Lord @narendramodi Ji and Vassal @Jack & @twitter have locked @rssurjewala, @ajaymaken & @sushmitadevinc. @INCIndia registers its protest and promises to continue the fight for each and all being wronged! We shall hold on @AshwiniVaishnaw Ji (sic),” tweeted Pranav Jha, AICC secretary in charge of Congress Communication Department.
Twitter had on 11 August told the Delhi High Court that it had temporarily locked Rahul Gandhi’s account and removed his tweet that had a photograph of the parents of a nine-year-old Dalit girl, who was allegedly raped and killed at a crematorium in Southwest Delhi on 1 August. The social media giant said that the action was taken as the tweet violated the platform’s policy.
In another tweet, Jha said, “The list goes on. @Twitter locks @JitendraSAlwar and @manickamtagore and many more. Doesn’t Modi Ji understand that we @INCindia’ns have a legacy of fighting even from behind the locks of kaala paani. He thinks the virtual locks of Twitter will deter us from fighting for India.”
The INC had earlier accused Twitter of acting against Gandhi’s account under pressure from the government.
Gandhi’s account was suspended after he tweeted pictures with the family of a nine-year-old victim of alleged rape and murder in Delhi last week.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) took cognisance of Gandhi’s tweet and directed Twitter to act against the Congress leader’s account for violating the privacy of a minor victim, mandated by the laws of the land.