The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has issued a notice to Twitter, asking for an explanation in five days for showing Leh as part of Jammu and Kashmir and not Ladakh, ANI reported on Thursday. This came after the social media platform had on October 18 shown Jammu and Kashmir as a part of China during a live broadcast by a journalist, which had led to a controversy.
The Centre, in its notice sent on November 9, said that showing Leh as part of Jammu and Kashmir was “a deliberate attempt by Twitter to undermine the will of the sovereign Parliament of India which had declared Ladakh as a Union Territory of India with its headquarter in Leh”, The Economic Times reported, citing an unidentified government official.
The notice, sent to Twitter’s global vice president, asked why legal action should not be taken against the company and its representatives. “The legal options before the government include filing an FIR under the criminal laws amendment act leading to imprisonment of upto six months for Twitter executives and the second option is to block access to Twitter in India under Section 66a of the IT Act,” the senior government official told the newspaper.
Last month, a Parliamentary committee said that Twitter’s explanation for showing Ladakh as part of China was “inadequate” and the act amounted to a criminal offence with an imprisonment of seven years. Twitter had shown Jammu and Kashmir as a part of China during a live broadcast by journalist Nitin Gokhale.
Following this, the Centre had written a stern letter to Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey, telling him 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. Twitter had then said that it was trying to resolve the geo-tagging concerns.
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.