Centre raises concern over Twitter's commitment to transparency, says it allows fake, unverified info - The Daily Guardian
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Centre raises concern over Twitter’s commitment to transparency, says it allows fake, unverified info

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New Delhi [India], February 11 (ANI): The Central government has conveyed to Twitter officials that the manner in which the social media giant officially allows fake, unverified, and automated bot accounts to be operated on its platform, raises doubts about its commitment to transparency and healthy conversation on the platform.
This meeting took place in view of the order issued by the Centre directing Twitter to remove tweets and accounts using hashtag related to “farmer genocide” and accounts supported by Khalistan sympathisers and backed by Pakistan and blog post issued by Twitter.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in a press release revealed that the Ministry’s Secretary, in a virtual interaction with Twitter officials, expressed his deep disappointment to Twitter leadership about the manner in which it has unwillingly, grudgingly and with great delay complied with the substantial parts of the order.
He reminded Twitter that in India, its Constitution and laws are supreme. It is expected that responsible entities not only reaffirm but remain committed to compliance to the law of land, he said.
This comes after Twitter on Wednesday took multiple enforcement actions for violations of its rules, in response to the ”legal requests” from the Indian government.
“Separate to our enforcement under the Twitter Rules, over the course of the last 10 days, Twitter has been served with several separate blocking orders by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India, under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act,” the social media giant said in a statement.
According to a release issued by MeitY, Secretary told the Twitter representatives that in India, the government value freedom and value criticism because it is part of our democracy.
“India has a robust mechanism for protection of freedom of speech and expression that is very elaborately explained as Fundamental Rights under Article 19 (1) of the Constitution of India. But freedom of expression is not absolute and it is subject to reasonable restrictions as mentioned in Article 19 (2) of the Constitution of India. Various judgments of the Supreme Court have also upheld this from time to time,” the release said.
Secretary to MeitY further highlighted that Twitter, must also respect the Indian laws and democratic institutions, adding that it is free to formulate its own rules and guidelines, but Indian laws which are enacted by its Parliament must be followed irrespective of its own rules and guidelines.
Secretary took up the issue of using a hashtag on “farmer genocide” with Twitter executives and expressed strong displeasure on the way Twitter acted after an emergency order was issued to remove this hashtag and content related to that.
“Spreading misinformation using an incendiary and baseless hashtag referring to ‘farmer genocide’ at a time when such irresponsible content can provoke and inflame the situation is neither journalistic freedom nor freedom of expression as envisaged under Article 19 of the Constitution of India. Despite the attention of Twitter being drawn to such content by the Government through a lawful process, the platform allowed the content with this hashtag to continue, which was extremely unfortunate,” the MeitY release said.
Secretary reminded Twitter about the action taken by Twitter during the Capitol Hill episode in the USA and compared that with the disturbance in Red Fort in India and its aftermath. He expressed dissatisfaction over Twitter’s differential treatment in the two incidents.
“A deep sense of disappointment at seeing Twitter side not with ‘freedom of expression’ but rather with those who seek to abuse such freedom and provoke disturbance to public order, was conveyed to the Twitter representative,” the release added.
Secretary also mentioned that revelations around certain “Toolkit” has made it evident that a strong social media campaign was planned in a foreign country around farmers protest. Misuse of Twitter’s platform for execution of such campaigns designed to create disharmony and unrest in India is unacceptable and Twitter must take strong action against such well-coordinated campaigns against India, through compliance with the applicable law of the land. (ANI)

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Bus conductor who planted 3 lakh saplings in 30 years wins praise

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Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], March 6 (ANI): A bus conductor in Tamil Nadu, who has planted over 3 lakh saplings in the last 30 years using his own money, is garnering appreciation on social media.
Marimuthu Yoganathan is a bus conductor in the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation by profession.
A known eco activist, Yoganathan has been awarded “Eco Warrior” award by Vice-President of India, ‘Unsung Hero’ award by wildlife film-maker Mike Pandey and film actor John Abraham in “Timberland” function held in Delhi.
Recently, a Twitter user with the handle name of @JainMaggii shared a picture of the bus conductor holding a sapling and wrote, “Marimuthu Yoganathan, a bus conductor who has planted over 3 lakh saplings in the last 30 years using his own money. Meet the ‘real environmentalist’!”

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also replied to the tweet dated March 5, 2021 and said, “Inspiration on my birthday. Thank you for sharing.”

The tweet also drew the reactions of several people who praised Yoganathan for his efforts.
“Noble work by Shri Yoganathan….Clapping hands sign.
It doesn’t have any impact whether he has planted with his own money or not. He has planted 3 lakh trees. That is enough….. we are getting how much of oxygen from those….just imagine…Once again salute you, sir…,” wrote a twitter user.
Another Twitter user said, “Great work! Thank you for sharing! Hero, who is saving our lives and this planet! inspiration these are! Hero what made him so dedicated, please highlight his stories. Would love to know more about him.”
“Mind-boggling. Almost 100 trees per day without fail! #Legend,” wrote another while calling Yoganathan a legend.
Yoganathan visited around 3,743 universities, colleges, schools and industries and took classes to raise environmental awareness.
He has been conferred with the tiltle ‘Sutru Suzal Seyal Veerar’ by the Tamil Nadu Government.
He was also conferred the Eco Warrior Award by the Indian government.
“My request to have the award sent to me by post was declined. I was concerned about the train fare, the days taken for my leave, and accommodation costs in New Delhi. But, I’m glad I received the award in person from none other than the Vice President of the country,” said Yoganathan on receiving the honour. (ANI)

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Delhi Police crime branch seizes heroin worth Rs 60 lakhs, two held

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New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): Delhi’s Crime Branch on Saturday seized 570 grams of heroin worth Rs 60 lakhs among other items from two individuals.
One person was held in Delhi’s Uttam Nagar and the other near Delhi’s Majnu ka Tila.
“With the arrest of two drug suppliers namely Sonu and Dinesh, the team of Narcotics Cell, Crime Branch Delhi has busted two supply chains of the contraband Heroin clandestinely active in the area of Uttam Nagar and Majnu Ka Tilla, Delhi and seized 570 grams of heroin from their possession. The price of these drugs in the international market is worth Rs 60 lakhs,” read the press statement by the crime branch.
“In this regard, two cases under section 21 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 have been registered at a police station in Delhi,” read the statement.
According to the statement, accused Sonu studied till class 2 only and started selling illicit liquor and gradually started selling heroin for quick money. He has been previously involved in 8 cases.
Accused Dinesh was trapped in a bad company and started committing crimes and got involved in two cases of robbery and theft. In due course of time, he started consuming heroin and started selling heroin to feed his addiction. He has been also previously involved in 3 cases.
The Crime Branch has seized heroin of 300 grams and 270 grams from both the accused in two separate raids. Two mobile phones have been seized as well.
Further investigation is going on to identify the entire chain of drug trafficking in both these cases. (ANI)

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Andhra Pradesh police nabs seven for stealing motorcycles, using them to transport Cannabis

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Krishna (Andhra Pradesh) [India], March 6 (ANI): Andhra Pradesh police on Saturday arrested seven persons who were allegedly involved in stealing motorcycles and using them for illegal transport of Cannabis.
Gudivada police caught them at Gudlavalleru while carrying out a vehicle-checking.
“We came to know that some people are stealing motorcycles, using them they bought Ganja and were selling it in and around Gudivada town. This has been happening for few weeks,” Gudivada DSP Satyanandam told media.
“Following, we started checking vehicles near Gudlavalleru Engineering College. Police found 7 persons in a suspicious condition. We recovered 6 kilograms of Ganja from their possession after we checked them,” he added.
During interrogation, police came to know that the arrested had stolen four motorcycles from Gudlavalleru, Pamarru, Kalidindi and Uyyuru villages each.
“We have recovered those motorcycles. All these seven are resident of Gudivada Town. Further investigation and legal formalities are underway,” the DSP further added. (ANI)

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Delhi Police works for safer society through Community Police Initiatives

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New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): Delhi Police works for building a safer society through Community Police Initiative which is an effort to form a partnership between police and ordinary citizens in dealing with crime.
According to Devesh Chandra Srivastava Joint Commissioner of Police, Licensing, to build a safer society, a partnership between police and ordinary citizens is essential and efforts in this direction are sometimes described as community policing.
“It is a strategy aimed at achieving effective and efficient crime control, reducing fear of crime, and improving police services through a proactive reliance on community resources that seek to change the crime causing conditions. The Central goal of community policing is for police to build relationships with the community, including through local agencies to reduce social disorder,” the Joint Commissioner of Police said.
Delhi police is running a number of schemes that focus especially on community policing such as Sashakti, Police Mitra, Nigehban, eyes and ear scheme, Neighbourhood Watch Scheme, Nirbheek, Pehchaan, Traffic Sentinel Scheme, Nazuk, Yuva: Engaging Youth in Skill Development etc. which are separate from the more centralized units that respond to emergencies. Various initiatives that were taken in previous years were continued vigorously in 2020.
Sashakti–Self Defence Training– A large number of women are working outside the home. Self-defense training programmes have inculcated a sense of confidence among them to resist any inappropriate act against them and report such acts to police at once without hesitation.
Under the Sashakti Scheme, 69953 girls/women have imparted self-defence training in 481 programmes during the year 2020. Delhi Police has entered the “Limca Book of Records” by training over 13 lakh women so far in 7,313 programmes organized under this scheme since 2002.
Prahari scheme–Prahari, a force multiplier for policing is an initiative of Delhi Police for involving various stakeholders like guards and chowkidars in the prevention of crime. It aims at promoting a feeling of ownership and camaraderie in the community to promote better police-public relations.
Police Mitra–This scheme is aimed at involving civil society in crime prevention and maintenance of law and order. The objective is to achieve effective policing with the active involvement of local citizens. Police Mitra assist local police in picket duties, traffic management, collection of intelligence and law and order arrangements etc.
Nigehban–under this scheme Delhi Police has surveyed all important locations of the city and draw a list of sensitive areas which require CCTV monitoring. Individuals, RWAs, and MWAs have been motivated to install CCTV cameras at identified spots by pooling their resources. This project is a shining example of proactive community policing.
Eyes and Ear Scheme–In this scheme, various sections of the public like rehriwalas, chowkidars, patriwalas, security guards, parking attendants, three-wheelers/taxi drivers, bus drivers/conductors, porters, shopkeepers, property agents, second-hand car dealers, landlords, members of RWA/MWA, cybercafe owners, guest house owners and other alert citizens are involved in providing information regarding suspicious activities of individuals and crimes.
Nirbheek–While a number of platforms are available with the general public to seek help from the police in cases of sexual harassment, an urgent need was felt to create a specialized forum for the girl child victims in school/college-going age group to effectively report such crimes.
Delhi police officials pay regular visits to ‘co-educational as well as only for girls schools and conduct interactive sessions with girl students. The aim of these sessions is to build up a rapport with them, talk about various initiatives of Delhi Police to instill a sense of confidence in them, and to sensitize them about basic precautions to be taken against sexual abuse. (ANI)

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Jailed activist Akhil Gogoi to contest Assam elections from Sibsagar

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Guwahati (Assam) [India], March 6 (ANI): Jailed activist Akhil Gogoi will contest the upcoming Assam assembly elections from the Sibsagar constituency as a candidate of his newly-floated Raijor Dal.
The party on Saturday announced 17 candidates for the first two phases of Assam assembly elections.
Gogoi, a peasant leader, is in jail since December 2019 in connection with a National Investigation Agency (NIA) case for his role in the anti-CAA protests in Assam. He was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Raijor Dal was launched as a political outfit in October last year in Guwahati. Assam will go to the polls in three phases beginning March 27.
The BJP had scripted history in Assam in the last assembly polls and won an absolute majority with its allies, defeating Congress which had been in power in the state for 15 years.
BJP had bagged 60 seats, AGP 14, and BPF 12 seats in the last assembly polls. (ANI)

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BJP releases first list of 57 candidates for WB assembly polls

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New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): Ahead of the West Bengal Assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday released its first list of 57 candidates for the polls and announced that party leader Suvendu Adhikari shall be contesting the elections from the Nandigram constituency.
This was announced by BJP General Secretary Arun Singh at a press conference here today. He also announced that the Baghmundi seat has been allotted to the Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) Party to contest the upcoming polls.
The announcement of BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari contesting from Nandigram comes a day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that she will be contesting the upcoming state assembly elections from the same constituency.
Suvendu Adhikari is the current MLA from Nandigram. Adhikari, once a close aide of Banerjee and TMC leader has now switched to BJP in December, last year.
“BJP’s Central Election Committee has approved the names of candidates on 57 seats for West Bengal Assembly elections,” said Singh addressing the press conference.
West Bengal Assembly elections will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 29. The counting of votes in the state will take place on May 2. (ANI)

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