Aarti Tikoo Singh, the well-known Kashmiri journalist and an outspoken advocate of Kashmiri Hindu rights was blocked by Twitter after she tweeted that her brother’s life is being threatened by jihadis terrorists sitting in Kashmir and their handlers in Pakistan, UK and US.
The tweet by Aarti which Twitter flagged for ‘violating their community standards’ stated “My brother Sahil Tikoo who lives in Srinagar is being openly threatened by jihadis terrorists sitting in Kashmir-India, their handles in Pakistan, the UK, and the US. Is anyone watching? Are we sitting ducks waiting to be shot dead by Islamists or will you crack down on them? HMO India.”
Twitter marked this tweet of hers as ‘hateful conduct’.
The social media platform wanted her to delete the tweet, a demand that she declined.
Aarti is also the founder and editor in chief of the online portal The New Indian and is based out of Delhi. Her brother Sahil Tikoo lives in Kashmir and is the spokesperson of Bharatiya Janata Party Yuva Morcha’s (BJYM) Jammu and Kashmir unit.
Aarti posted a message on her Facebook page to explain her stance. She said she would NOT delete the tweet about the death threats issued by Islamists to her brothe,r Sahil Tikoo. She added that it is her family and siblings who are the victims of Islamist terror, and accused Twitter of pandering to Islamists.
BJYM is the youth wing of the BJP. Aarti took to Twitter to voice her apprehensions about her brother’s safety and sought protection and safety for him from the Home Ministry.
Incidentally, Twitter is the same social media platform that allows leading Islamist terrorist organizations to have accounts, spread hatred and is used by terrorist leaders to boast and brag about their work.
Born in the Anantnag district of Kashmir, Aarti Tikoo is herself a victim of Islamic terrorism. Lakhs of Kashmiri Hindu families were forced to flee the valley starting from 1990 by the very same radical Islamist terrorists; Aarti’s family was one amongst them.
Eminent personalities from all walks of life pledged support for Aarti and criticized Twitter for blocking her account. They asked whether speaking out against terrorists in Kashmir and their US, UK and Pakistani handlers is a crime in Bharat. They demanded Twitter to restore Aarti’s account with immediate effect or face the backlash.
After the block, ANI News Editor Smita Prakash felt that there was something wrong with Twitter’s ‘algorithm’. Renowned author and scientist, Anand Ranganathan called this move outrageous and unacceptable. Columnist and defense expert Abhijit Iyer Mitra accused Twitter of being in cahoots with Jihadis and terrorists and wanted the Delhi police to investigate their staff for terror connections and collusion. Another Twitter user, Hitesh Tikoo added that the global left and Jihadis were bed partners but he refused to bow down to such forces.
The pressure worked and Aarti’s twitter account has now been restored, albeit the tweet in question has been deleted by Twitter with the message ‘This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules’.
However, a follow-up tweet that Aarti had posted on December 15 below the now-deleted tweet, is still visible. In it she had stated attached a clip from a Twitter Spaces audio conversation, along with the message “Quite clear @Twitter@TwitterIndia is allowing Pakistan sponsored terrorists to use @TwitterSpaces for terror related activities, to threaten Indians & to hatch conspiracies to kill Kashmiri Hindus like @TikooSahil_ in Kashmir. India @GoI_MeitY@MIB_India is sleeping & paralysed“
In the Twitter Space conversation above in Urdu, users are heard asking to remove ‘two Indian agents’ – Sahil Tikoo and one account by the name Surender. One person says, he (Sahil) has put a ‘war criminal’s photo..that dog Bipin Rawat’, referring to Sahil’s profile picture which is a photo of him with late Gen. Bipin Rawat.
It appears that the death threats were issued to Sahil in a different segment of the same Twitter Spaces conversation. Srinagar police have registered an FIR in the matter.
According to an FIR, Sahil Tikoo entered a Twitter Space with an account named ‘Stop Innocent Killings’ on December 14, when some persons began to threaten him with his life. Some even called him a ‘collaborator’ or ‘agent’, said Tikoo. He has urged the Srinagar SSP to identify the culprits and take legal action against them.
This is not the first time when Twitter has favored such leftist radical Islamists. The platform was and remains the preferred choice of the Taliban but it has blocked and suspended many users who raised their voice against the atrocities of the Taliban.
Incidentally, Twitter had appointed Parag Agrawal of Bharatiya origin as its CEO towards the end of last month.