India’s Child Rights Commission Urges Kashmir To File FIR Against Twitter

NEW DELHI — The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has requested Dilbag Singh, Director-General of Jammu and Kashmir Police, to file a First Information Report (FIR) against Twitter officials for a video on its site that “violates” child rights.

The complainant said that the video supports terror activities and promotes terrorism using children.

In a letter to Singh, Priyank Kanoongo, chairperson, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, said they had received a complaint about the video posted by @AGHHISTOrY wherein a child has been shown to use a gun and is firing bullets in the air.

“It is seen that there are 4-5 men who are looking at the child and appreciating him to use the gun,” states the letter. 

“The complainant alleges the video to be showing unlawful terror activity support and promotion of terrorism using children and allowing terror organizations to use Twitter to facilitate recruitment activities for terrorism in Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.”

The Commission said that such posts and videos being circulated online on Twitter are a threat to India’s public interest and sovereignty.

“The posting of such posts and videos in wide circulation on Twitter is also a matter of concern due to the fact that Twitter’s policy permits children [that is children aged 13 years and above] to use and access Twitter and the Commission is under the apprehension that such posts would harm children using Twitter and give them access to join such illegal groups on Telegram, Twitter,” read the letter.

“Therefore, as prayed for by the complainant and given the violations of the law of the land being committed by Twitter, the Commission requests for filing an FIR against officers of Twitter, Manish Maheshwari [Managing Director] and Shagufta Kamran [Twitter India Policy Manager] under relevant provisions of law for violating the law of the land and take necessary action against them.”

“The Commission further requests for necessary action against Telegram as well so that such groups promoting terrorist activities operating on Telegram can also be identified.”

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson has requested Singh to send a report on it in seven days.

For the past several months, Twitter has been involved in a stand-off with the Indian government over the new amendments in the country’s new Information Technology laws, with the microblogging platform losing its intermediary status and becoming liable for user-generated content. 

Several FIRs have been registered in different parts of the country against Maheshwari.

The Delhi High Court also pulled up Twitter on July 5 for alleged non-compliance with the Information Technology Rules, 2021. It said that it was not giving Twitter any protection, and the center was free to take any action against them.

The court also said that it has clarified if Twitter wants to function in India, they need to comply. 

The court’s observation came after the Union of India had granted three months to all significant social media Intermediaries, and from the last 42 days, there has been complete non-compliance from Twitter.

“How long does your (Twitter’s) process take,” said Justice Rekha Palli. “If Twitter thinks it can take as long as it wants in our country, I will not allow that.”

(With inputs from ANI)

(Edited by Amrita Das and Saptak Datta)

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