Delhi Police officials at Twitter India's office in Lado Sarai, Delhi (Image: ANI)
The Delhi Police visited the offices of Twitter India in Delhi and Gurugram on May 24 to serve notice in connection to the "Congress toolkit" case.
A statement issued by the Delhi Police, shortly after reports claimed that it had "raided" the social media company's offices, said that the police team's visit was a "routine process".
"The Delhi police team went to Twitter office to serve a notice to Twitter, as a part of routine process. This was necessitated as we wanted to ascertain who is the right person to serve a notice, as replies by Twitter India MD have been very ambiguous," the statement read.
The Delhi Police had on May 21 sent a notice to Twitter India Managing Director Manish Maheshwari, asking him to revert by May 22 with "all relevant documents" which he possesses in connection to the alleged toolkit case. "It has come to our notice that you are acquainted with the facts of the matter," the notice stated.
Also Read | Centre asks Twitter to drop 'manipulated media' tag for 'Congress toolkit' tweets: Reports
The controversy over the alleged toolkit erupted after senior leaders of the Centre-ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had, on May 18, shared a document which suggested a plot to tarnish the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his handling of COVID-19. The document, they alleged, was released by the rival Congress party.
The Congress subsequently wrote to Twitter, claiming that the document was "fake" and created on a "forged letterhead" of the party's research department. The opposition party demanded the suspension of the accounts of top BJP leaders including party chief JP Nadda and Union Minister Smriti Irani for allegedly spreading misinformation.
The party also registered police complaints against BJP leaders in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh for allegedly creating and sharing a forged document to defame the Congress.
Shortly after Congress' complaint, Twitter flagged the toolkit-related tweets of BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra as "manipulated media".
The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had reportedly written to Twitter on May 21, marking its disapproval over the "prejudged, prejudiced" decision to flag the tweets in connection to the toolkit as 'manipulated media'.
"The government has asked Twitter to remove the tags affixed prejudicially to certain tweets in recent days in the interests of fairness and equity... Investigation will determine the veracity of the content, not Twitter," a MeitY source was reported as saying.
The Delhi Police, earlier on May 24, issued a notice to Twitter asking the company to explain the reason behind labelling Patra's tweet as 'manipulated media', news agency ANI had reported.
Meanwhile, the police in Chhattisgarh registered an FIR against Patra and former state chief minister Raman Singh in connection to the toolkit case on May 23. The Raipur Police began investigating them after a complaint of forgery was registered by the National Students' Union of India - Congress' student wing - on May 18.