The Peace and Harmony Committee of Delhi Assembly has decided to summon Ankhi Das, Director, Public Policy, Facebook India. The committee wants to discuss if Facebook officials played any role in the orchestration of the Delhi riots. Raghav Chadha, chairman of the committee, said in a tweet thread that the committee had received several complaints against the officials of Facebook for, “their alleged deliberate & intentional inaction to contain hateful content in India with respect to scathing revelations made by a report in The Wall Street Journal.”
Delhi Legislative Assembly’s Committee on Peace & Harmony has received complaints against officials of Facebook for their alleged deliberate & intentional inaction to contain hateful content in India with respect to scathing revelations made by a report in The Wall Street Journal pic.twitter.com/087DPhd6R2— Raghav Chadha (@raghav_chadha) August 17, 2020
He added that in a video featuring Mark Zuckerburg, the contents of a BJP leader’s post was quoted as offensive and hateful, but no actions were taken. Thus the committee has decided to take immediate cognizance of the matter and investigate if, “if there is any role or complicity of Facebook officials in Delhi riots.”
He said, “The committee will facilitate the state’s endeavour to maintain & promote an irenic atmosphere and a conducive milieu of peace & pacification among different communities in Delhi. It is our aim to take action against any potential adversity which might cause communal discord.”
The Peace and Harmony Committee has nine members named Raghav Chadha, Abdul Rehman, Ajay Kumar Mahawar, Atishi Marlena, BS Joon, Dilip Kumar Pandey, Jarnail Singh, Kuldeep Kumar, and Saurabh Bharadwaj.
Complaint filed by Ankhi Das
Ankhi Das, Facebook’s Director, Public Policy, India, South and Central Asia, has filed a complaint with Delhi Police stating that she has received multiple threats to her life and body, which made her extremely disturbed. Das named several Twitter and Facebook users in her complaint including Saket Gokhle and Arshad Khan who is connected to Congress Party.
The article that sparked the controversy
Wall Street Journal had published an article on 14th August in which it alleged that the Facebook India officials are turning a blind eye against hate speeches posted by users connected to BJP. The report quoted an unnamed employee who alleged the officials do not want to ruin the “business relations” with the ruling party. The opposition parties attacked Facebook for its supposed bias towards them. On the other hand, BJP rubbished the claims in the article and accused Facebook of censoring nationalist voices.
Following the article, fingers were pointed at Facebook’s Ankhi Das, over alleged links to the BJP.
AAP leader is one of the main accused in Delhi riots
While Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi Government is planning to summon Facebook officials to find out if platform played any role in the anti-Hindu Delhi riots, the party’s ex-leader Tahir Hussain has already been named by the Delhi Police as one of the main conspirators of the riots along with several others including some NGOs and political groups like PInjara Tod and PFI.
Tahir Hussain, an AAP leader with close ties with the top leadership of the party, was found coordinating, orchestrating the attacks against Hindus. He is also accused of involvement in the murder of IB official Ankit Sharma.
OpIndia’s detailed report on the chronology of the event that led up to the riots is now available on Kindle. It has a comprehensive account of the loss of life and property in riots and how Hindus were targeted.