The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) has directed Twitter to block around 250 tweets and Twitter accounts which were spreading fake, intimidatory and provocative tweets on January 30 (Saturday).
The step was taken on the request of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and law enforcement agencies to prevent any escalation of law and order in view of the on-going farmer agitation. The Twitter accounts were using #ModiPlanningFarmerGenocide hashtag to spread misinformation.
Incitement to genocide is a grave threat to public order and therefore the MeitY ordered for blocking of these Twitter accounts and tweets under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act.
As per news agency PTI, Twitter on Monday 'withheld' multiple accounts on its social media platform including those linked with the ongoing farmers' protest at Delhi borders against the new contentious central farm laws. Among the accounts withheld are Kisan Ekta Morcha (@Kisanektamorcha) and BKU Ekta Urgahan (@Bkuektaugrahan), both having followers in thousands.
Besides these, several other individuals and organisational accounts, including one of a media outlet, were also withheld, even as debates started on social media over the development.
According to Twitter, when an account is 'withheld' it means the social media platform "was compelled to withhold the entire account specified (e.g, @username) in response to a valid legal demand, such as a court order", reported PTI.
The development comes in the wake of violence in Delhi on Republic Day on January 26 during a tractor parade of farmers protesting the new agriculture laws which resulted in the death of one person and injuries to over a hundred people, including police personnel.
The Delhi Police is currently probing the Republic Day violence wherein it has lodged multiple FIRs and booked, among others, several farmer leaders leading the protests at the national capital's borders since November-end.
with additional inputs from news agency PTI