The Centre has written a stern letter to Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey after the social media platform’s location settings showed Leh as a part of China, PTI reported on Thursday. The government told Dorsey that both Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir were “integral and inalienable” parts of India.
The letter was written by Electronics and Information Ministry Secretary Ajay Sawhney, who expressed disapproval about the misrepresentation of India’s map. Sawhney also asked Twitter to respect the “sensitivities of Indian citizens”. He added that disrespecting India’s sovereignty and integrity was unacceptable and unlawful.
Sawhney told Dorsey that such attempts not only brought disrepute to Twitter but also raised questions about its neutrality and fairness.
On October 18, Twitter had shown Jammu and Kashmir as a part of China during a live broadcast by journalist Nitin Gokhale. “Tweeple pl [please] put Hall of Fame Leh as your location for live broadcast and see what’s happening,” Gokhale had tweeted. “It shows location as Jammu and Kashmir, People’s Republic of China. I tested it again. Outrageous. Please flood Twitter with complaints. GoI [Government of India] should take immediate action.”
Twitter, meanwhile, had said that it was trying to resolve the geo-tagging concerns. “We became aware of this technical issue on Sunday and understand and respect the sensitivities around it,” a spokesperson from the platform was quoted as saying by ANI. “Teams have worked swiftly to investigate and resolve the concerned geotag issue.”
The controversy arose amid border tensions between India and China. Military heads of the two countries have engaged in several rounds of talks over the last three months after 20 Indian and an unknown number of Chinese soldiers were killed in violent clashes in Galwan Valley in Ladakh on June 15. However, these talks have failed to break the impasse.
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Beijing had said last Wednesday that it did not recognise Indian sovereignty over Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh, claiming that India had illegally occupied Ladakh. Leh is the largest town in Ladakh. In response, India’s Ministry of External Affairs said that China has no locus standi to comment on the matter. The ministry said Ladakh as well as Arunachal Pradesh are integral parts of India and this has been conveyed to the Chinese side on many occasions.
After the sixth round of military talks on September 22, India and China had resolved to stop sending more troops to the frontline amid the border standoff. Both countries also agreed to take practical measures to properly solve problems on the ground and ensure peace in the border areas.
On September 10, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit. The two ministers agreed on a five-point plan to defuse tensions between the countries and said the current situation in the border areas of Ladakh was “not in the interest of either side”. They agreed, therefore, that the border troops of both sides should “continue their dialogue, quickly disengage, maintain proper distance and ease tensions”.