In a significant move, Twitter has withheld around 250 accounts in India, including that of Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar stating that the action was taken "in response to a legal demand", which has turned out to be from the government of India.
On the accounts being withheld, Prasar Bharati had raised objections and sought an explanation from Twitter India. Shortly after, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MEITY) issued a statement confirming that 250 Tweets/ Twitter accounts which were using the #ModiPlanningFarmerGenocide hashtag were withheld. These accounts, as per the statement, were making "fake, intimidatory and provocative Tweets on Saturday, 30". The statement further said that the request originated from the Ministry of Home Affairs and law enforcement agencies in order to "prevent any escalation of law and order in view of the on-going farmer agitation."
"If you see the above message, it means Twitter was compelled to withhold the entire account specified (e.g., @username) in response to a valid legal demand, such as a court order," Twitter's Help Centre page read on the withheld accounts.
"Ministry of Electronics and IT (MEITY) directed Twitter to block around 250 Tweets Twitter accounts which were using #ModiPlanningFarmerGenocide hashtag and making fake, intimidatory and provocative Tweets on Saturday (30th Jan.).
This was done on the request of Ministry of Home Affairs and law enforcement agencies to prevent any escalation of law and order in view of the on-going farmer agitation.
Incitement to genocide is a grave threat to public order and therefore the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MEITY) ordered for blocking of these Twitter accounts and Tweets under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act."
Twitter has blocked these Tweets/ Twitter Accounts.