Removed objectionable posts on Hindu deities, Instagram tells Delhi High Court

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Facebook, which owns Instagram, has informed the Delhi High Court that it has removed certain objectionable content relating to Hindu gods and goddesses posted by a user on the platform. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing Facebook, also informed the high court that keeping in mind the grievance raised by the petitioner, the copies of the petition shall not be distributed to any unrelated third party.

The controversy pertains to highly “obnoxious and objectionable” posts put up by a user on Instagram, as submitted to the court by petitioner Aditya Singh Deshwal. The petitioner also argued that the said content showed abusive language written about Hindu deities, along with their ”vulgar” representation through cartoons and graphics. He also sought directions to Instagram to preserve all details associated with the concerned account so that these could be presented before the court to expose the identity of those behind these “objectionable” posts.

Deshwal, represented by senior advocate G Tushar Rao and lawyer Ayush Saxena, further sought the removal of the content from the photo and video sharing platform at the earliest.

Earlier, Manish Singh, a Delhi resident and member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), filed a complaint with the Delhi Police over the posts, accusing Instagram of “hurting the sentiments” of the Hindus. In his complaint, Singh stated that the GIF was made with the “sole intention of inciting the followers of the Hindu community and, in the process, promote disharmony, hatred and enmity.”

Urging the Delhi Police to file a case against Instagram CEO and others under sections 153A and 295A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Singh threatened to protest outside Instagram’s office if the content is not withdrawn and no apology is tendered.

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