Bollywood actor and Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker Paresh Rawal on Wednesday deleted his tweets on writer Arundhati roy and claimed that he was “coerced by Twitter” to do so. On May 21, he had said that Roy should be “tied to an Army jeep”, instead of stone pelters. The actor, however, defended his remark despite drawing immense criticism for the same.
“I inform to all my supporters and citizens of this country that I am being coerced to delete something I tweeted on 21st May, or else Twitter would block my account,” he said in his statement. On May 21, the BJP MP had tweeted: “Instead of tying stone pelter on the army jeep tie Arundhati Roy!” The tweet is believed to have been triggered by a fake news about a statement by Roy that she never gave. The tweet was in reference to an incident from last month when videos of a man tied to an Army jeep in Kashmir had kicked up a controversy.
In his statement, Rawal further said he continued to defend his tweet “which was made without any prejudice to gender, race, religion or caste”. “I stand by and will continue to stand by the citizens and Indian Armed forces under any situation and at any cost,” he said.
Twitter India however refused to react to Rawal’s claims saying it did not comment on “individual accounts”, reported DNA. In a statement, Twitter said it wanted people to feel safe while “expressing diverse opinions and beliefs”. “But we draw the line when it comes to behaviour that crosses the line into abuse, including behaviour designed to consciously harass, intimidate or silence another person’s voice,” it said.
Rawal’s statement came on a day when singer Abhijeet’s Twitter account was suspended for posting offensive tweets against women. Sonu Nigam had also announced that he was quitting Twitter.
It was unclear what had triggered Rawal’s tweet on May 21. Last week, a report was doing the rounds quoting Roy as saying, “New Delhi’s oppression cannot subdue Kashmiri struggle.” However, the report was later said to be fake. Speaking to The Wire, Roy on Tuesday said it was “all non sense”. She said she had not been to Srinagar recently or made any statements about Kashmir in the last one year.