A complaint has filed with police by Hindu hardline group against Twitter’s India region head after politically sensitive regions were depicted outside a map of India on its website, kickstarting an investigation in a fresh probe for the U.S. tech firm.
A map on Twitter’s careers page showed that Jammu and Kashmir region, claimed by both India and Pakistan, as well as the Buddhist enclave of Ladakh outside India. That provoked an outcry on social media this week that comes amid strained relations between Twitter and New Delhi over the firm’s compliance with India’s new IT rules.
The complaint accuses Twitter’s India head, Manish Maheshwari and another company executive of breaching the country’s IT rules as well as laws designed to prevent enmity and hatred between classes.
“This has hurt my sentiments and those of the people of India,” Praveen Bhati, a leader of the group Bajrang Dal in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, said in the complaint which was reviewed by news agency. He also called it an act of treason.
Twitter did not respond to a request for comment. As of Tuesday, the map was no longer visible on its site. Maheshwari was only this month summoned by police in Uttar Pradesh for failing to stop the spread of a video that allegedly incited religious discord. Maheshwari has won relief from a court in that case.
India’s technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has criticized Twitter for its failure to abide by new Indian rules and for denying him access to his Twitter account.
A senior government official has previously told news agency that Twitter may no longer be eligible to seek liability exemptions as an intermediary or the host of user content in India due to its failure to comply with the new IT rules. Activists say, however, it is a matter for the courts to decide.
Last year, the head of an Indian parliamentary panel accused Twitter of disrespecting New Delhi’s sovereignty, after mapping data showed Indian-ruled territory as part of China in what the social media firm said was a quickly resolved mistake.