India’s government has requested Twitter to delete a trending post by The World Sikh Organization (WSO) which commemorated the 1984 Genocide of Sikhs. India’s government has claimed that it “violates the law(s) of India.”
Twitter’s legal department has responded stating that it was notifying WSO in the interests of transparency but was not taking any action “at this time.”
The specific tweet addressed by India, states “abduction, torture and extra-judicial killing” of Sikhs, “#neverforget1984” and refers to Jaswant Singh Khalra, a human-rights activist who was abducted and murdered by the Indian police in 1995.
WSO, the Ottawa-based Sikh group, said the events were “a perfect example of India criminalizing dissent.”
Today, we received notice from Twitter notifying us that our tweet remembering the Sikh genocide & the sacrifice of Khalra allegedly violates Indian law(s).
— WSO (@WorldSikhOrg) September 15, 2020
Furthermore, a report by WSO alleges New Delhi has cracked down on social media posts about Khalistan, a proposed separate Sikh homeland, with #Sikh temporarily blocked on Facebook and Instagram.
WSO legal advisor, Balpreet Singh, commented on the issue stating, “They’re saying if you engage in this topic on social media, we will silence you and you will face the consequences.”
However, Singh commented, “Obviously, this is not going to work here in Canada. We are protected by freedom of speech.”
Singh went on to claim that India is afraid that Sikh youth in the country are learning about and believing in the Khalistani movement, using social media to peacefully express their support.