Popular Twitter account ‘Princess Woke Liberal (@workingboxwali)’ was censored and suspended by the micro-blogging site for questioning the promotion of Islamist Rana Ayyub on the Elle Magazine.
In an audio clip posted by the account ‘Eminent Intellectual (total_woke_), the satirist could be heard as saying, “Namaste everyone, this is Princess Woke Liberal. If you are listening to this, I’m already dead on Twitter. Sadly I got suspended, no email, no warning, just suspended. I have appealed it, but we all know that’s the same as appealing to Taliban for casual Friday. Not happening! What’s interesting is that I knew this was coming two days ago.”
She emphasised, “I made a tweet about Rana Ayyub’s promotion by Elle magazine over many years, and exposing that her brother Arif Ayyub is the publisher of the magazine. Interestingly, the tweet didn’t get published. Yes, you heard that right. Only I could see it. After an hour of figuring out what was happening, I deleted it. “
“As I am aware the Totalwoke account had also got suspended (in the past) after Rana Ayyub had targeted it. I knew I had committed Twitter blasphemy and my account deserved baas ek hi saza (only one punishment)… You know what that is! Anyway, I and Totalwoke are looking at ways to keep in touch with our friends here. You will hear from me after a few days and I’m sure we will get your support as always. Till then, follow total.woke on Instagram and stay safe. Jai Shri Ram,” ‘Princess Woke Liberal’ concluded.
FIR registered against Rana Ayyub alleging money laundering
On September 7, an FIR was filed against Rana Ayyub at Indrapuram police station in Ghaziabad in UP in response to a complaint filed by Vikas Sakrityayan of the Hindu IT cell. The complaint accused Rana Ayyub of Money Laundering, Cheating, Dishonest Misappropriation of Property, Criminal Breach of Trust by illegally acquiring money from the general public in the name of charity.
It stated that Rana Ayyub was a journalist by profession and received foreign money without any kind of approval certificate/registration from the government, which is required as per the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010. Hence, she was for violating the provisions of FCRA, the complaint had stated. Based on this complaint, the FIR was registered under sections 403, 406, 418, 420 or the Indian Penal Code (IPC), section 66D of the IT Act and section 4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
The case relates to three fundraising campaigns Rana Ayyub had conducted on Ketto, Funds for slum dwellers and farmers, Relief work for Assam, Bihar and Maharashtra, and Help for Covid-19 impacted people in India. However, doubts were raised on the campaigns since the beginning, as the journalist was accepting foreign donations without the mandatory FCRA approval.