NEW DELHI, Aug 13 - Rahul Gandhi, leader of India's main opposition party, slammed Twitter on Friday for blocking a tweet over the alleged rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl. He said the platform was playing partisan politics.
The criticism of the Congress Party by Twitter comes as Twitter is trying to resolve concerns raised by Premier Narendra Modi’s government over compliance issues.
Gandhi's account, which has 19.5 million followers, was locked after he posted a picture of himself with the parents of a girl who was allegedly raped and killed https: www.reuters.com-world india protesters-gather - Indian-crematorium - where-girl - 9 - raped-murdered - 2021 - 08 - 05 in New Delhi on Aug. 1, saying the family deserved justice.
Indian law acts on providing the identity of victims of sexual assault and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights issued a note to Twitter asking for its removal.
But Gandhi said in a video released to reporters that Twitter was interfering with politics by shutting him down and playing into the hands of Modi government, which is bitterly opposed to Gandhi.
This is an attack on the democratic structure of the country. Now it is apparent that Twitter is not neutral, objective platform. It's something that listens to what the government of the day said.
While Gandhi's account is still visible and his tweets are all visible until Aug. 6, the platform has blocked his post about the girl and has hide him from tweeting further, pending his deletion of the tweet.
The accounts of several other Congress leaders were also locked for tweeting the picture.
A Twitter spokesperson said that the platform’s rules were enforced impartially and judiciously.
We have taken proactive action on several hundred Tweets that posted an image that violated our Rules, and can continue to do so in line with our enforcement options, the spokesperson said in a tweet.
In our sole intention to protect individuals' privacy and safety we always protect them.
Congress spokesman Vinet Punia declined to comment on whether Gandhi planned to delete tweet about the girl.
Police have taken four people into custody after the attack, which triggered widespread anger and protests in the capital as the latest case of violence against women in the country.