Twitter blocks Opposition politicians’ accounts in India


The Congress party on Thursday claimed that after blocking their former president Rahul Gandhi’s social media account, Twitter has now “locked” the party’s official handle, @INCIndia.

Congress social media head Rohan Gupta said the official Twitter account of the Congress has been locked.

Gupta told IANS that 5,000 of their party workers and leaders’ accounts have been blocked.

Indian Youth Congress national president Srinivas B V tweeted: “First Rahul Gandhiji’s account, Then Congress Workers account, Then Congress Leaders account, & Now official account of @INCIndia…Twitter is openly batting as a frontal organization of BJP. Are we still living in India or North Korea?”

The micro-blogging platform a day ago also blocked Congress general secretary Ajay Maken’s handle, Maken said that Twitter blocked him for supporting Rahul Gandhi.

Maken on Wednesday said, “Now my account is locked I have supported Rahul Gandhi against atrocities on Dalits and women, but I predict good days are ahead when you will not be afraid…”

Congress party sources said the accounts of R S Surjewala, Manickam Tagore and Sushmita Dev too had been locked by Twitter.

After blocking Rahul Gandhi’s account on Saturday, Twitter explained that the account violated Twitter rules.

Immediately @INCIndia had dared the social media site, saying: “…lock our accounts, we challenge you. Nothing will stop us from fighting for justice and exposing the truth”.

Over the weekend more blocking followed.

It started after the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) flagged photos shared by Gandhi with a 9-year-old rape and murder victim’s parents.

Disclosing the identity of rape victim — even identifying the victim’s parents or home — is not allowed in Indian law.

The Congress alleged that BJP has been trying to silence its voices but it will not stop. “The rape and murder of the 9-year-old is not an issue, but the tweet is,” said Ragini Nayak.

Gandhi had met the family members of a child who was allegedly raped in the national capital, murdered, and cremated without her parents’ consent in Old Nangal crematorium.

The BJP alleged that Gandhi had revealed the identity of the victim’s family, which is unlawful.

Following the complaint by the NCPCR, Gandhi’s Twitter account was temporarily suspended and the party, from his official handle, tweeted that due process was being followed for its restoration.

Rahul Gandhi, who joined Twitter in April 2015 and has 19.5 million followers on the social media platform, was expected to stay connected via his other social media platforms.