Twitter unlocks account of Rahul Gandhi

Twitter unlocks accounts of Congress leaders, Rahul Gandhi

Gandhi's account was temporarily suspended last week after he tweeted pictures of the family of a nine-year-old victim of alleged rape and murder in Northwest Delhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. Credit: PTI File Photo

A week after locking their accounts, Twitter on Saturday unlocked accounts of Congress leaders including Rahul Gandhi. Soon after, the Congress party tweeted "Satyameva Jayate".

In a related development, however, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), which had on Friday written to Facebook and Instagram about violation of Indian laws on their platforms, after Gandhi shared the posts on these platforms "revealing the identity of victims" of the family of the nine-year-old girl, summoned Facebook officials on Tuesday for not responding to its notice.

Facebook, which owns the photo and video-sharing social networking platform Instagram, was summoned over no reply about the action sought against Gandhi's profile. "However, no reply/action taken report has been received by you," the Commission said.

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The Commission has asked Facebook officials to appear before it on Tuesday evening in-person at the NCPCR office in Janpath or through video conferencing along with the details of the action taken.

On Friday, Twitter had transferred its India head Manish Maheshwari to the US. While the company did not specify any reason for the change, it took place days after a relentless Congress campaign against the microblogging site for suspending the accounts of its leaders. Twitter India office also saw a protest outside its office in Delhi by the Youth Congress.

Maheshwari was also named in an FIR in UP in connection with a probe related to a video of an alleged hate crime earlier. In a way, Twitter India was at the receiving end from both sides of the political spectrum.

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The Twitter accounts of Rahul Gandhi and some other Congress leaders including its communication department chief Randeep Surjewala, AICC general secretaries K C Venugopal, Ajay Maken, party's Whip in Lok Sabha Manickam Tagore, Assam in-charge and former Union minister Jitendra Singh and Mahila Congress president Sushmita Dev, were also locked as they had shared pictures tweeted by him of the family of the nine-year-old victim of rape and murder in Northwest Delhi.

This led to a huge political row with protests on the streets and in Parliament and Gandhi on Friday alleging "democracy is under attack".

Congress ran hashtag campaigns "Speak Up against Twitter's hypocrisy" on Saturday after its earlier campaigns "Daro Mat" and "Main Bhi Rahul Gandhi" while Rahul had himself shared an image saying "Digital Dadagiri nahi chalegi" on Instagram.

The Twitter action against Gandhi's account had happened after the NCPCR had issued a notice to the microblogging site asking it to act against the Congress leader's handle for tweeting the pictures.

While the NCPCR had cited the juvenile justice law that mandates the privacy of minor victims to argue for action against Rahul's Twitter handle, Congress had questioned Twitter as to why it did not act when a similar photo was tweeted by the National Commission for Scheduled Castes.