New Delhi, Nov 12: The government has asked Twitter to respond within “five working days” as to why it showed Leh as part of Jammu and Kashmir instead of a separate Union Territory, sources have said.
If Twitter doesn’t respond or if it’s not “satisfactory”, sources said the government has several options – it can block access to Twitter under the Information Technology Act, and a police case can be filed with up to six-month imprisonment.
In a notice, the government said showing Leh as part of Jammu and Kashmir was a “deliberate attempt by Twitter to undermine the will of sovereign parliament of India which had declared Ladakh as a Union Territory with its headquarters in Leh”, the sources said.
“Twitter remains committed to partnering with the government of India and the Ministry of Electronics and IT to serve the public conversation. Duly responded to the letter and as part of our correspondence, shared a comprehensive update with latest developments regarding geo-tag issue,” Twitter spokesperson said,
Last month, Twitter came under heavy criticism and faced backlash from social media users after its geotagging feature displayed “Jammu & Kashmir, People’s Republic of China” in a live broadcast from Leh’s Hall of Fame, a war memorial for fallen soldiers in Ladakh.
This had triggered angry responses from netizens who demanded that stringent action be initiated against the micro-blogging platform.
Meanwhile, an industry watcher said that in case Twitter does not fall in line even after the latest notice, possible options could include action initiated under Section 69A of the IT Act for banning access to Twitter in India.
Also, under the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, the government can lodge an FIR, which has punishment of up to 6 months of imprisonment.