National Commission for Women chairperson Rekha Sharma has filed a complaint with Twitter India, citing “suspicious activity” from her account, The Indian Express reported on Thursday.
The development comes after some of Sharma’s controversial tweets were dug out by users, following her meeting with Maharashtra governor to discuss “rise in love jihad cases” on Tuesday. Sharma, however, claimed that her account was hacked. Amid the controversy, access to Sharma’s tweets were restricted.
The women’s body chief said that Twitter itself blocked her account after she alerted the micro-blogging site of “suspicious activity”. “Twitter had blocked my account yesterday and they had alerted me on suspicious activity from my account,” she said. “After I landed in Delhi at 7 pm, I saw one objectionable tweet and immediately informed Twitter. I will decide on the further course of action only after Twitter gets back to me with their own explanation.”
Clarifying on the controversy, Sharma also said that the matter was “blown up on social media”. “The reason why I used the term love jihad is because it was used in the complaints from the civil society organisations,” she claimed.
On Tuesday, the women’s panel announced that Sharma had met Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and discussed “rise in love jihad cases” with him.
“Love jihad” is a conspiracy theory espoused by right-wing Hindu activists alleging that Hindu women are forcibly converted by Muslims through marriage. Many activists and Twitter users criticised Sharma for using the derogatory reference and for lending legitimacy to the term.
In February, the Union Home Ministry had told the Lok Sabha that there was nothing defined as “love jihad” under current laws in the country and that no such case has been reported by any of the central agencies.
Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy had also said Article 25 of the Constitution provides for the freedom to profess, practice and propagate religion subject to public order, morality and health. “Various courts, including the Kerala High Court, have upheld this view,” Reddy said in a written reply.
The row further snowballed as Twitter users dug out controversial tweets Sharma had posted over the years. One of her tweets was against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while another said she hated the word feminist. Some of her tweets also spoke disparagingly about members of the Nehru-Gandhi family.