The Twitter handle of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who was convicted of rape by a special CBI court last week in Panchkula, has been withheld by the social media giant. All tweets by Singh show the message “@Gurmeetramrahim’s account has been withheld in: India”. The withheld account is, however, visible only on Twitter’s app. The desktop website of Twitter.com has barred users from accessing the account. A verified handle, @Gurmeetramrahim has 3.6 million followers on Twitter. The account follows no one.
The Twitter handle of the organisation, @derasachasauda, has also been withheld. This one does not sport a blue tick but has 357,000 followers. It follows only one account: That of the dera chief.
The Twitter handle of his ‘adopted daughter’ HoneyPreet Insan (@insan_honey), also a verified account, has not been blocked. However, all retweets of the Ram Rahim display the same “withheld” message instead of the original content.
The self-styled godman was sentenced to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment after being convicted of raping two women followers at the dera. The August 25 verdict had triggered widespread violence and arson in Haryana and minor instances in Punjab and some other states, leaving at least 38 dead and injuring over 250.
When contacted, Twitter refused to comment on the issue.
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