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Not via video conferencing, must join probe in person, UP Police tells Twitter India MD

In this notice, Ghaziabad Senior Superintendent of Police Amit Pathak warned him that his failure to comply could result in his prosecution for interfering with the probe

Ghaziabad Police have told Twitter India Managing Director (MD) Maneesh Maheshwari that his failure to report and join the investigation on June 24 (Thursday) in connection with a case of a communally sensitive video shared on its platform could lead to hindrance and legal consequences.

This is the second notice sent by the Ghaziabad Police to the Twitter India MD. In this notice issued under section 41 A of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), Ghaziabad Senior Superintendent of Police Amit Pathak warned him that his failure to comply could result in his prosecution for interfering with the probe.

The notice read, "Your absence would be treated as a hindrance to the investigation. This type of act would be treated as an attempt of creating an obstruction in the investigation which leads the police to initiate further legal action."

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In response to the first notice issued by the Ghaziabad Police, the Twitter India MD had offered to join the investigation via video conferencing while Twitter India stated that the information needed in this case pertains to Twitter Inc, its global office and not Twitter India.

SSP Pathak further told that the MD that the "e-mail sent by you shows that you are escaping the responsibility of cooperation with the police in the investigation."

"Clarification given by you is inappropriate. Being the MD of Twitter in India, you are the representative of the company. Therefore, you are bound by the Indian law to cooperate the investigation," he added in the notice.

Citing editorial responsibility and security of the state, the SSP held the Twitter India MD responsible for circulation of a communally provocative video on June 14 wherein a 72-year-old Sufi Abdul Samad Saifi from Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr was seen crying, accusing 4 youths of beating him up, chopping his beard and asking him to say "Jai Shri Ram".  

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Saifi, who was allegedly beaten by some youths over a dispute on tabeej (magical amulet) given to him Parvesh Gurjar on June 5, had reported the matter to police on June 7 on which the police filed an FIR. Almost a week later on June 14, Saifi put out the contentious video reportedly under the instigation of a Samajwadi Party worker.

Pathak noted, "The message concerned in which your cooperation is required has enhanced tension in the state and the country and has hampered the communal harmony," adding the Ghaziabad Police had flagged the tweet in question as fake news.

Ghaziabad Police has also sent notices to the news website The Wire, journalists Rana Ayyub, Saba Naqvi and Mohammad Zubair, politicians Dr Shama Mohammed, Maskoor Usmani and Salman Nizami in this case.

Edited by Mehak Agarwal; with PTI inputs

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