Ghaziabad assault case: Twitter India head moves Karnataka HC for anticipatory bail
The Karnataka High Court will on Thursday hear a petition filed by Twitter India Managing Director Manish Maheshwari, seeking transit anticipatory bail or protection from potential arrest in a case related to tweets about the assault of an elderly Muslim man in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad district, NDTV reported on Wednesday.The matter will be heard by Justice G Narendar. The petition was filed on Tuesday and challenged the legal notice issued by the Ghaziabad Police to Maheshwari under Section 41 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, Live Law reported. The section allows the police to make an arrest without a warrant.The police had asked him to appear at the police station for questioning by 10.30 am on Thursday or face action. However, Atul Kumar Sonkar, circle officer at Loni Border police station, told PTI that he had not come in for questioning on Thursday morning.The notice also summoned Twitter India’s Resident Grievance Officer Dharmendra Chatur to the police station. It said Maheshwari and Chatur were responsible for the activities on the social media platform. “You could not remove certain tweets even after you were asked to by authorities,” the notice said “You understand Indian laws and are bound to follow them.”This was the second notice sent after Maheshwari had said he would be available via video call. The police have claimed that the tweets and videos on the assault of the man were “an attempt to destroy communal harmony”. Apart from Twitter India, the Uttar Pradesh police have filed a case against The Wire, journalists Rana Ayyub, Saba Naqvi and Mohammad Zubair and Congress leaders Salman Nizami, Masqoor Usmani and Sama Mohammad.The Karnataka High Court has issued a notice on a plea filed by Zubair seeking transit bail. The High Court also noted that Zubair, who is also the co-founder of fact-checking website AltNews, did not need transit bail as there was no apprehension of arrest.In the case against Rana, the Bombay High Court on June 21 granted her protection from arrest for four weeks.The case relates to a video depicting 72-year-old Abdul Samad Saifi saying that he had been abducted in an autorickshaw by several men and locked up in a secluded house. Saifi alleged he was assaulted and forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram”. He also said the assailants cut his beard and made him watch videos of other Muslims being attacked.Though the alleged assault took place on June 5, the video of the attack and of Saifi narrating the incident was circulated widely on social media on June 14.However, the Ghaziabad Police, which registered a case based on Saifi’s complaint, on June 15 claimed that there was no communal angle to the assault. The police added that both Hindus and Muslims were among the accused who beat up the elderly man. Saifi, they said, had been beaten up because an amulet he gave one of the assailants had an adverse effect on them.The police had arrested nine people in connection with the assault. However, the accused have been granted interim bail by a court in Ghaziabad.