Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Twitter account has been “temporarily locked”, the party said on Saturday night.
This came a day after the social media platform removed a photo posted by Gandhi revealing the identity of the family of a Dalit girl, whose alleged rape, murder and forcible cremation has sparked massive protests in Delhi. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights had asked Twitter India’s resident grievance officer to remove the photo as it reveals the identity of the nine-year-old girl.
According to the social media giant, an account is locked if it violates Twitter rules or appears to be compromised. “We may ask you to complete certain actions before we start the countdown on your limited state,” the company says. “These actions may include verifying your email address, adding a phone number to your account, or deleting Tweets that are in violation of our rules.”
A Twitter spokesperson told NDTV that Gandhi’s account was not suspended as claimed by the Congress earlier and that due process was being followed to restore it. The account is removed from global view once it is suspended, the spokesperson added.
The Congress accused the Modi government of intimidating Twitter, instead of ensuring justice to the Dalit girl’s family, The Indian Express reported. “Based on a complaint by the BJP, the Twitter account of Rahul Gandhi has been locked,” party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.
On Wednesday, Gandhi had met the family of the minor in Delhi Cantonment’s Purana Nangal village. After that, he posted a photo showing him and her parents having a conversation inside a car. “Parents’ tears are saying only one thing – their daughter, the daughter of this country, deserves justice,” he tweeted along with the photo.
The child rights body had said that the Congress MP’s tweet violated the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences and Juvenile Justice Acts.
The move came shortly after Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Sambit Patra criticised Gandhi for sharing the photo. “This is using Dalits and the poor for furthering your own political agenda,” Patra claimed.