Twitter representatives on Thursday verbally apologised for geo-tagging Leh, the capital city of the Union Territory of Ladakh, as part of China while appearing before the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019. The committee, however, has asked the microblogging site to follow it up with a written apology and also submit an affidavit in the matter.
A Twitter spokesperson said they remain committed to working with the Government of India and that they respect the sensitivities involved.
Committee chairman and BJP parliamentarian Meenakshi Lekhi had earlier said that Twitter’s explanation in the matter was inadequate and that its action amounts to a criminal offence attracting imprisonment of seven years.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had also written a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on October 22, reminding him that Leh is the headquarter of Ladakh and that both Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir are “integral and inalienable parts of India, governed by the Constitution of India”.
In his letter, Ajay Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, asked Twitter to respect the sensitivities of Indian citizens. He warned that the attempt to disrespect the sovereignty and integrity of India, which is also reflected in maps, is totally unacceptable and unlawful. Sawhney had also raised questions about Twitter’s neutrality and fairness as an intermediary.