India: X account of Hindutva Watch withheld on GoI demand

Banned account of @HindutvaWatchIn / X.

The X account of “Hindutva Watch,” a website monitoring and highlighting instances of hate crimes in India, has been withheld by government of India. The account played a crucial role in documenting and sharing information about incidents related to hate crime

The move by X has sparked concerns among activists and advocates who rely on such platforms to raise awareness about social issues. Hindutva Watch provided a platform for users to report and discuss incidents of religious intolerance, discrimination, and violence, particularly against minority communities committed by Hindutva groups.

The organisation asserts on its website that it documents instances of assaults against members of minority and marginalised communities in India based on their faith, perpetrated by radicalised Hindus and Hindutva militia groups.

According to Raqib Hameed Naik, the founder, he was notified via email on Tuesday that the Government of India claimed the account violated sections of the IT Act, The Wire reported.

“We are writing to inform you that X has received a legal removal demand from that Government of India regarding your X account, @HindutvaWatchIn, that claims the following content violates India’s Information Technology Act, 2000,” an email claimed. It, however, did not specify the content that violated the law.

Speaking to Scroll, Naik emphasised that this setback would not discourage the group from its mission. He was quoted saying, “This setback will not dissuade us from our work, and we will persist in our efforts undeterred.”

In September of the previous year, the organisation released a study revealing that the first half of 2023 alone witnessed more than 250 documented gatherings featuring anti-Muslim hate speech.

The majority of these incidents occurred in states governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party, with nearly 70% reported in states undergoing legislative elections either in 2023 or 2024.

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