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Ghaziabad assault: Police send legal notice to Twitter India MD

Maheshwari has been asked to appear before Loni border police station within 7 days

uttar pradesh police logo (File) Uttar Pradesh Police logo

The Ghaziabad Police sent a legal notice on Thursday to Manish Maheshwari, the managing director of Twitter India, to appear before the Loni border police station within seven days to record his statement.

The notice, under provisions of Section 160 of the Criminal Procedure Code, was sent in relation to the case of viral videos being circulated on Twitter related to the assault of an elderly Muslim man in Ghaziabad. The incident had happened on June 5, but videos of it—showing the assault and also the victim recounting the incident—went viral last week.

The Uttar Pradesh Police had filed an FIR against Twitter Inc, Twitter Communications India, news portal The Wire, scribes Mohammed Zubair and Rana Ayyub and senior journalist and author Saba Naqvi, besides Congress leaders Salman Nizami, Masqoor Usmani and Sama Mohammad for sharing the video clips on social media.

The Ghaziabad Police had claimed earlier this week the incident did not have any communal angle. Ghaziabad Senior Superintendent of Police Amit Pathak had said the victim, Abdul Samad, a Bulandshahr resident, had not made any allegation of being forced to chant Jai Shri Ram or the chopping up of his beard in the FIR lodged on June 7.

ANI reported Maheshwari was being summoned over allegations the video was shared on Twitter with the intent of "provoking communal unrest".

On Thursday, the Delhi Police had announced it had received a complaint against Maheshwari, actor Swara Bhasker and others in connection with social media posts over the Ghaziabad incident.

The Indian Express reported on Thursday that a Delhi Police team had visited Bengaluru last month to question Maheshwari in connection with the Congress 'toolkit' case. The case was lodged after the Congress accused the BJP of circulating a fake toolkit attributed to the grand old party. The Indian Express reported Maheshwari was questioned for two hours.

"They also asked him what sort of information Twitter had about the ‘toolkit’, and why they had chosen to give the ‘manipulated media’ label to the posts,” a Delhi Police officer told The Indian Express. Twitter had designed as 'manipulated media' a post on the toolkit by BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra.

Four more arrests

The Ghaziabad Police on Thursday arrested four more people in connection with the assault. This takes the total number of arrests in the case to nine.

“Four more accused identified as Himanshu, Anas, Shavez and Babu have been arrested today. The total arrests in the case have now gone up to nine," Superintendent of Police (Rural) Iraj Raja said.

The police had earlier arrested Kalloo Gurjar, Parvesh Gurjar, Adil, Intezaar and Saddam, alias Bauna, all of whom were allegedly involved in the attack.

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