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Business News/ News / India/  122 Twitter accounts blocked this week in India on request of govt: Report
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122 Twitter accounts blocked this week in India on request of govt: Report

To catch Amritpal Singh at the earliest, teams of Delhi Police and Punjab Police on Friday launched a search operation in Delhi and its border in view of the possibility of his entering the national capital. An alert has been sounded in Uttarakhand over the possibility of an absconding pro-Khalistan preacher entering the state.

The blocked accounts are currently inaccessible in India, and reads a disclaimer stating, Premium
The blocked accounts are currently inaccessible in India, and reads a disclaimer stating,

The micro blogging site, Twitter, this week blocked 122 accounts in response to legal requests from the Indian government, a report by Rest of the World has stated. These blocked account belonged to journalists, authors, politicians in India. The blocked accounts are currently inaccessible in India, and reads a disclaimer stating, “This account has been withheld in India in response to a legal demand." The message means that Twitter was compelled to withhold the original Tweet in response to a valid legal demand, such as a court order.

Though the reason of the 122 blocked account is not known, however, this comes at the time when the Punjab police launched a search operation against the radical leader and Waris Punjab De Chief Amritpal Singh. The cops do have nabbed hundreds of his supporters but the leader is still remains untraceable. 

To catch Amritpal Singh at the earliest, teams of Delhi Police and Punjab Police on Friday launched a search operation in Delhi and its border in view of the possibility of his entering the national capital. An alert has been sounded in Uttarakhand over the possibility of an absconding pro-Khalistan preacher entering the state. 

The blocked development also comes follows a police crackdown and a subsequent internet shutdown in the north Indian state of Punjab to arrest separatist figure Amritpal Singh Sandhu. The government has declared Sandhu a fugitive and he is on the run. The current internet and SMS suspension in the state, enforced on March 18, affects 27 million people.

Earlier on 20 March, Twitter of Pro-Khalistan were withheld in India. The withheld accounts also included Twitter account of Canada's New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh. Apart from him, the Twitter accounts of Canadian poet Rupi Kaur, the voluntary organisation United Sikhs, and Canada-based activist Gurdeep Singh Sahota have also been withheld. The blocking of Jagmeet Singh's account is significant as he is known for his anti-India comments. The development comes at a time when there has been a rise in attacks by these Khalistani elements in foreign countries.

Earlier, on March 19, a pro-Khalistan protestor in London climbed the High Commission of India's balcony and pulled down the national flag.

A video of the same incident had gone viral on social video. In the now-viral video, the Khalistani protestor is seen on the balcony attempting to bring down the Indian flag. At the end of the video, another man is seen reaching the balcony and wresting the Tricolour back from the Khalistan supporter. Khalistan supporters also allegedly attacked Indian Consulate in San Francisco (SFO). Videos of supporters breaking the doors and barging into the office surfaced on social media. Though visuals of the vandalism at the San Francisco consulate have been doing the rounds of social media, the incident is yet to be confirmed by Indian officials.

India has launched a strong protest with the UK over the vandalisation incident at the Indian High Commission in London. Both India and UK condemned act by pro Khalistan supporters. 

Yesterday, speaking on the vandalism incident, Ministry of External Affairs said that India would like to see action, more than just assurance, adding that he hoped that foreign governments will act against and prosecute those involved.

Addressing the weekly media briefing, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, to a question on the vandalism of the Indian High Commission in London and the Indian High Consulate in San Fransisco, said, "On the issues of security, whenever we feel there is an issue relating to the security of our missions abroad high commissions and embassies, this issue is taken up. Whenever we have concerns where we feel that there will be some activities that may harm our interests, we do take it up."

"You would have seen specifically in London and at least in San Francisco, we've strongly taken up the matter of vandalism and attacks on our missions there. You would have also seen our statements in this regard," he added.

Bagchi further stated that India expects the host governments to take action to identify and prosecute all those involved and also take necessary measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents. He also hoped that the government would provide full and adequate protection to Indian missions as well as to the personnel working there.

"I think that's probably what your question was, assurance... Yes. Look, on that element we just say look, I think we are not interested in just assurances. I think we would like to see action. That's why I would leave it at that," the MEA spokesperson added.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 25 Mar 2023, 11:37 AM IST
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