Without warning, Facebook has deleted the verified account of prominent Tamil Nadu activist, and founder of the May 17 movement, Thirumurugan Gandhi.
Responding to the removal of his account Gandhi noted that his account had already been deleted three times and called for the democratic forces “to condemn the pro-Hindu Facebook organisation that runs without democracy”.
Gandhi is the founder of the May 17 movement, an organisation that advocates for justice and accountability for victims of the genocide of Tamils committed by the Sri Lankan state which culminated in 2009. The organisation describes itself as a “Tamil nationalists’ movement, working for the welfare of the Tamil people”. It aims to follow Ambedkarite, Periyarist and Marxists principles. At its core, the organisation seeks justice for the Tamil people and to promote democracy and social justice in the wider region.
Last July it was revealed that several Tamil nationalist activists, including Gandhi, were potential targets for surveillance by the spyware known as Pegasus. His name was included in a leaked database of over 50,000 numbers.
"If you simply look at the list of people who were infected with the malware, it is very easy to surmise that only the government and Modi would have seen all of them as a threat. Nobody else fears so many journalists, human-rights activists, opposition politicians and bureaucrats” he noted at the time.