Petitioner advocate Khaja Aijazuddin speaking to ANI in Hyderabad, Telangana on Tuesday. Photo/ANI
Petitioner advocate Khaja Aijazuddin speaking to ANI in Hyderabad, Telangana on Tuesday. Photo/ANI

Plea questions inaction on non-removal of posts linking religion with COVID; Telangana HC issues notice

ANI | Updated: Jun 23, 2020 18:04 IST

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], June 23 (ANI): Telangana High Court has issued notices to the Centre, State government, and Twitter seeking an explanation on why some posts targetting a particular religion over the COVID-19 spread on the social media platform were not removed, the petitioner lawyer said on Tuesday.
Petitioner advocate Khaja Aijazuddin, speaking to ANI, said that Telangana High Court has issued notices to social networking site Twitter, the Central and state government seeking an explanation as to why some of the social media posts, which allegedly linked COVID-19 to the Muslim community and religious event in Delhi's Nizamuddin area, were not removed.
"I have filed this PIL (public litigation interest) in Telangana High Court. Yesterday, the high court heard the matter pertaining to Islamophobic posts where there is a trend on social media to hold the Muslim community responsible for the ongoing coronavirus outbreak," Aijazuddin said.
He said that the high court directed the respondents to file counter-affidavits to have their say and posted the matter for further hearing after four weeks, July 20.
This comes as the congregation at Tablighi Jamaat Markaz in the Nizamuddin area of the national capital held in March this year had reportedly become an epicentre of the coronavirus spread across the country.
"I made a representation to the Cabinet Secretary, Government of India, Union Home Secretary, Telangana Direct General of Police, Police Commissioner and Twitter on April 2, 2020, about the inflammatory trending on Twitter pertaining to the attachment of this religion with coronavirus is unwarranted, illegal and against World Health Organization guidelines," Aijazuddin said.
"It is also offensive as it is hurting a particular community -- Muslims. It is liable for actions to be taken. The officials are liable to take action and have to be removed forthwith. Though they have received my representation, no action has been taken by the Centre and State government, where they are empowered under the law to take action and remove the derogatory illegal trending," he added.
Aijazuddin said that, in his plea, he has sought directions to remove the inflammatory posts from the social media platform, registration of a criminal case against Twitter, and prosecution of those who shared the post under the law.
He also said that he prayed the court issue directions that social media platform operating in the country should not allow islamophobic posts, which may hurt or insult the feelings of the Muslim community. (ANI)

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