Responding to journalist Rana Ayyub’s tweet on the Babri mosque-temple dispute verdict, Amethi Police told her to delete it immediately or face legal consequences.
“You have just made a political comment. Delete it immediately, otherwise legal action will be taken against you by Amethi Police,” the official handle of the Amethi Police tweeted.
Rana Ayyub, in her post, had written, “Tomorrow is a big day for India. The Babri Masjid, a monument of faith for Indian Muslims was demolished on 6 Dec 1992 by those in power today. It changed my life and a generation of Muslims who were ‘othered’ overnight. I hope my country does not disappoint me tomorrow.”
“I will delete my tweet if you point out to any factual inaccuracy,” Rana replied to Amethi Police.
Many twitter handles including journalists in international media came out to support Rana Ayyub.
‘This is intimidation,’ Vidhi Doshi, the India correspondent for The Washington Post tweeted.
“Shocking: a police department in India is threatening journalist Rana Ayyub with action over a tweet she posted about the Babri Masjid’s 1992 destruction. This is a blatant attempt to intimidate someone into silence– over, frankly, a fairly innocuous statement,” Mustafa Hameed, working in the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said.
“Why can’t one make a political comment or share one’s opinion based on facts or experiences?” Abhishek Baxi, journalist at Forbes asked.
“I stand with you Rana Ayyub. This sort of intimidation is absolutely unacceptable from a country that calls itself a democracy,” Author Rafia Zakaria tweeted.
Rana Ayyub is a contributing writer to the Washington Post’s Global Opinions section. She is the author of Gujarat Files: Anatomy of a Cover Up