Parliamentarian Priyanka Chaturvedi from the Maharashtra state-ruling party Shiv Sena has questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government about pounding Twitter with information-seeking requests.
Between July and December of last year, India made the most requests to Twitter, seeking information about accounts, the company said in its transparency report on Wednesday.
"India is the single largest source of government information requests, accounting for 25 percent of the global volume. The requests jumped 258 percent between July-December 2020", the Twitter report said.
In a tweet, Chaturvedi who has over a million followers, asked if the centrally ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was using its might to silence those against its policies in India.
India is the single largest source of government information requests, accounting for 25% of global volume. The requests jumped 258% between July-Dec 2020: Twitter Transparency Report.— Priyanka Chaturvedi🇮🇳 (@priyankac19) July 15, 2021
Silencing dissent through use of power.
At present, no member of the BJP has reacted to Chaturvedi's question.
In recent months, the Modi government has been accused of curbing freedom of speech and expression in India by several opposition politicians, farmers protesting against agricultural laws, social networking apps like Twitter, as well as the general public.
Between February and March of this year, the Indian government sent Twitter a list of around 1,500 accounts, claiming some of them were pro-Khalistani or were spreading fake information about sensitive topics of national importance. The Khalistan movement is a Sikh separatist movement seeking to establish a sovereign state for Sikhs, called Khalistan, in the Punjab region.
When Twitter argued against not suspending the government-listed accounts, it was threatened with legal action after which it did freeze some accounts.
Previously, the US topped Twitter's list for sending the maximum number of requests seeking information on specific accounts and profiles.