India asks Twitter to remove 1,178 accounts

Two sources from the Indian Technology Ministry said on Monday that India has asked Twitter Inc to take down 1,178 accounts.

India says the accounts are backed by arch rival Pakistan or operated by sympathizers of a separatist Sikh movement.

India’s security agencies said some of the accounts were being operated from outside of the country.

The order also involved the Twitter accounts of some supporters of the movement for an independent Sikh homeland called Khalistan.

Many of these accounts were sharing and amplifying misinformation and provocative content on the ongoing farmers protests, the source added.

Tens of thousands of farmers have camped on the outskirts of India’s capital New Delhi for months demanding the withdrawal of new agriculture laws.

Twitter has yet to comply with the government order, which was issued on Feb. 4, the sources said.

India’s IT ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment

Twitter did not confirm or deny whether it had complied with the government’s latest order, but said it reviews content under its rules and local laws when it receives a legal request about potentially illegal posts.

The U.S. social media firm also said it carefully reviews legal requests which may be seeking to restrict freedom of expression, adding that it takes extra care to review requests related to journalists or political speech.

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