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Loni assault case: Twitter India chief seeks anticipatory bail before his questioning in UP

Manish Maheshwari, Managing Director of Twitter India filed a plea on June 23 and will be heard today

Maheshwari was expected to appear in person before the Ghaziabad police to record his statement on Thursday (Source:Facebook) Maheshwari was expected to appear in person before the Ghaziabad police to record his statement on Thursday (Source:Facebook)

The Karnataka High Court is set to hear a plea by Twitter India Managing Director Manish Maheshwari, seeking transit anticipatory bail in connection with a probe related to a video of a victim of a purported hate crime, before his questioning in Uttar Pradesh.

Maheshwari was expected to appear in person before the Ghaziabad police to record his statement on Thursday, but has not appeared so far. "He did not reach the police station at the given time and is expected to reach here by noon," Circle Officer (Loni), Atul Kumar Sonkar, told PTI.

The plea was filed on June 23, two days after the UP police summoned Maheshwari and Dharmendra Chatur, Twitter India's Resident Grievance Officer, for questioning. The plea will be heard today by Justice G Narendar.

The Ghaziabad police on June 15 had booked Twitter Inc, Twitter Communications India, news website The Wire, journalists Mohammed Zubair and Rana Ayyub, besides Congress leaders Salman Nizami, Maskoor Usmani, Shama Mohamed and writer Saba Naqvi.

They were booked over the circulation of 'misleading' tweets and videos in which an elderly man, Abdul Shamad Saifi, claims he was allegedly thrashed by some young men who asked him to chant 'Jai Shri Ram' on June 5. The police claim the video was shared to cause communal unrest and 'provoke communal sentiments.'

"You couldn't remove certain tweets even after you were asked to by authorities. You understand Indian laws and are bound to follow them," the notice summoning Maheshwari said.

Twitter India had been ordered to delete such posts, but initially failed to do so. According to PTI, the company had 'withheld' 50 tweets containing content related to the video, after receiving a legal request to do so.

This is the first time that a case has been filed against the social media giant after the government's new IT rules for online news publishing platforms came into effect.(Edited by Rupashree Ravi)

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Also Read: Police summons Twitter India's top official over viral video that incited 'hate and enmity'