Among the accounts withheld are Kisan Ekta Morcha (@Kisanektamorcha) and BKU Ekta Urgahan (@Bkuektaugrahan), Tractor 2 Tiwtter both having followers in thousands.

Representational Image

Representational Image

Twitter on Monday “withheld” multiple accounts on its social media platform including those linked with the ongoing farmers’ protest at Delhi borders against the new contentious central farm laws.

Among the accounts withheld are Kisan Ekta Morcha (@Kisanektamorcha) and BKU Ekta Urgahan (@Bkuektaugrahan), and @Tractor2twitr all having followers in thousands.

Besides these, several other individual and organisational accounts, including one of a media outlet, were also withheld, even as debates started on social media over the development.

Officials of the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) said that Twitter has been asked to block over 250 accounts or tweets that were tweeting using a specific hashtag.

The MEITY (IT Ministry) has blocked around 250 Tweets or Twitter accounts which were using #ModiPlanningFarmerGenocide hashtag and making fake, intimidatory and provocative Tweets on Saturday that was January 30, reports stated, citing officials.

According to reports, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and law enforcement agencies had directed the IT Ministry to take relevant action in view of the social media agitation in solidarity with the farmers’ protests.

News agency ANI had also reported, citing sources, that the central government had ordered the block. However, the tweets seem to have been deleted as of now.

According to Twitter, when an account is “withheld” it means the social media platform “was compelled to withhold the entire account specified (e.g, @username) in response to a valid legal demand, such as a court order”.

The development comes in the wake of violence in Delhi on Republic Day on January 26 during a tractor parade of farmers protesting the new agriculture laws which resulted in the death of one person and injuries to over a hundred people, including police personnel.

The Delhi Police is currently probing the Republic Day violence wherein it has lodged multiple FIRs and booked, among others, several farmer leaders leading the protests at the national capital’s borders since November-end.

(With inputs from agencies)