he Delhi Police on Thursday said that they have received a complaint against actor Swara Bhasker, Twitter India Managing Director Manish Maheshwari and The Wire senior editor Arfa Khanum Sherwani and others for tweeting about the assault of an elderly Muslim man in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad district, The Indian Express reported.
The police are yet to file a first information report based on the complaint submitted by an advocate, identified as Amit Acharya. He has alleged that Bhasker, Maheshwari, Sherwani and a man named Arif Khan “spread hate against the citizens” by trying to give the incident a “communal colour”.
The complainant has asked the police to book them under Indian Penal Code Sections 153 (provocation for rioting), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 295A (acts intended to outrage religious feelings), 505 (mischief) and 120B (criminal conspiracy).
“These users have lakhs of followers and an official account,” Acharya said in his complaint. “Knowing the fact that their tweets have an impact on society, they gave communal colours to the incident without fact-checking the truthfulness of the incident. The concerned tweets were floated across the social media with the motive of hampering peace and harmony amongst the religious groups.”
He claimed that Maheshwari, the head of Twitter in India, did not take any action to remove these “false tweets” despite knowing that the incident did not have any “communal angle”, according to The Indian Express. The lawyer said that the social media company also did not label the tweets as “manipulated media” – which prohibits sharing videos, photos or audio that “have been deceptively altered or fabricated” to trick viewers and have the potential to cause harm.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Deepak Yadav said the complaint was filed at Tilak Marg station and that they are investigating the case.