October 22, 2020

Govt warns Twitter over location settings showing Leh in China

Army vehicles stop at a base camp in Leh in the cold desert region of Ladakh, 434 kms from Srinagar. The peaks in Kargil area of Ladakh witnessed a war between Indian soldiers and the soldiers of the neighbouring Pakistan in the summer of 1999. Express Photo By Shuaib Masoodi, 05.07.2014.

New Delhi/Oct,22: Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir are “integral and inalienable parts of India governed by the Constitution of India”, the government told Twitter after the social media platform’s location settings showed Leh as part of China, government sources said.

In a letter to Twitter Inc CEO Jack Dorsey, the government expressed its disapproval of the “misrepresentation of map of India” and asked the company to “respect sensitivities of Indian citizens”, sources said.

Earlier, the geo-location of Leh, which is the headquarters of the union territory of Ladakh, was shown on Twitter as part of China. Leh is the largest town in Ladakh.

The government, sources added, conveyed to Twitter that any attempt by the social media giant to “disrespect sovereignty and integrity of India, which is also reflected by the maps, is totally unacceptable” and “unlawful”.

“…such attempts not only brings disrepute to Twitter but also raises questions about its neutrality and fairness as an intermediary,” IT Secretary Ajay Sawhney said in the letter,  according to sources.

The government’s warning to Twitter comes amid the tense standoff with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Indian and Chinese soldiers have been locked in a standoff at the LAC, or the de-facto border between the countries, in Ladakh since May. Tension peaked in June when 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the line of duty in a clash with the Chinese at Galwan Valley.

There have been several rounds of military and diplomatic talks between the two sides to resolve the standoff but the Chinese have refused to adhere to agreements on restoring status quo.

Ladakh was carved out from Jammu and Kashmir and granted the union territory status on August 5 last year when the centre scrapped the special status  and split it into two union territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

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