Hindutva Watch’s Account Blocked by Indian Government, Cites IT Act Breach

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Hindutva Watch’s Online Presence Cut off in India

The account of Hindutva Watch, monitoring religious minority attacks in India, has been blocked by India’s Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. As per section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, the action was justified. The blockage was communicated to Hindutva Watch founder, Raqib Hameed Naik, via an email from the account’s hosting platform, after a removal request from the Indian government.

Content Censorship without a Clear Explanation

The correspondence to Naik claimed a violation of the IT Act by the account. The exact content that resulted in the violation wasn’t defined. Although the content is now inaccessible in India, it can still be accessed in other countries. According to the 2009 blocking regulations, the person or intermediary responsible for the content should be notified and given a chance to defend before a blocking committee, barring any emergency orders.

Mysterious Block Order Prompts Queries

Details about whether this was an emergency order, or the identity of the ministry or agency recommending the block, have not been disclosed as these orders are confidential. It is unclear if other websites or social media accounts were also affected in this instance. This absence of knowledge has evoked further queries about the usage of the IT Act and freedom of speech in India.

A Tense Political Climate Amid Religious Struggles

This move happens in a crucial period for Indian politics. The Indian government is preparing for a grand temple inauguration for Lord Ram in Ayodhya, fulfilling a longstanding promise of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The temple, which replaces the Babri Mosque torn down in 1992, is poised to attract voters for the forthcoming national election and boost Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s backing. However, concerns about escalating religious division in the country have arisen due to the enthusiasm surrounding the temple’s inauguration and Hindutva Watch’s blocking.

Elijah Muhammad