Home Indian Muslim US-based Indian Muslim orgs come together to support TCN

US-based Indian Muslim orgs come together to support TCN

By TCN News

Cambridge, MA: In an historic first, three major Indian Muslim organization based in the United States have come together to issue a joint statement supporting TwoCircles.net news website.

Recently, two pages of this website were blocked by the Government of India without giving any reasons or contacting the editor.
In a joint statement Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), Indian Muslim Relief and Charities (IMRC), and American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin (AFMI) expressed their “grave concern” over the directive from India’s Department of Telecommunication (DoT) to block access to certain pages of TCN.

TCN blocked page as it appears in India: “This website/URL has been blocked until further notice either pursuant to Court order or on the Directions issued by the Department of Telecommunications.”

“Twocircles.net is dedicated to reporting and covering a range of issues affecting India and Indian Muslims,” said the joint statement.

The block on two TCN pages was part of a list of webpages, facebook pages, and twitter handles that India blocked recently. Media has speculated that these blocks were done to prevent hate-speech and rumor-mongering regarding Assam and Myanmar violence.

However, the TCN pages that have been blocked are completely unrelated to these issues. One of the pages is related to terror stories from Madhya Pradesh, an issue that has not been adequately covered in the mainstream media. The other blocked page is related to the violence in Mathura in June 2012, that was sparked by a minor incident, and that led to curfew being clamped in the region.

“Using the violence in Assam and the panic in parts of the country in the aftermath as an excuse to stifle legitimate press coverage of other issues is unacceptable,” said Manzoor Ghori, Executive Director of IMRC.

“If there are legitimate concerns about any content adversely impacting communal harmony, these need to be taken up with the news portal before an arbitrary decision is made to block the pages,” said Shaheen Khateeb, President of IAMC.

“Freedom of the press is vital for the healthy functioning of a democracy,” said Dr. Tajuddin Ahmed, president of AFMI. “Any arbitrary decisions blocking access to credible news sources, likeTwoCircles.Net is bound to scuttle the freedoms guaranteed by the Indian constitution,” added Dr. Ahmed.

IAMC, IMRC and AFMI called upon the government to remove the block on TCN’s pages, and adopt an even handed, fair, and transparent approach in regulating the internet.