Manish Kumar (Name changed on request) is an international student and aspiring singer in Melbourne.
He told The Australia Today, “I have been a follower of L-Fresh The Lion’s work ever since I have come to Australia five years back, but his tweets glorifying terrorists and rapists is the lowest point for an artist.”
“My father was just 17 years old when my grandfather and two uncles were killed by Khalistani terrorists in a village near Bhatinda (City in the Indian state of Punjab), I can’t explain the pain in my father’s eyes when he talks about it,” said Mr Kumar.
Earlier, Twitter has restricted four accounts within the Indian jurisdiction. One of the accounts is of Australian hip-hop artist L-Fresh The Lion.
According to data from the US-based collaborative archive Lumen Database this is done in compliance with the legal request made by the Indian government.
In a statement reported by Indian media, a Twitter spokesperson said that when it receives a valid legal request, it reviews them under both the Twitter Rules and local law.
“@LFRESHTHELION`s account has been withheld in India in response to a legal demand,” read the message on the rapper`s account.
The Indian-Australian rapper has been supporting farmers protesting against the new farm laws in India.
He has also been writing on social media platforms and posted several updates about the protests on Twitter.
Besides, Twitter has taken action on three more accounts that also includes Indian-Canadian singer Jazzy B.
These accounts have been “geo-restricted” which means anyone living out of India can see and access the accounts.
In a statement, a Twitter spokesperson said;
“If the content violates Twitter’s Rules, the content will be removed from the service. In all cases, we notify the account holder directly so they`re aware that we`ve received a legal order pertaining to the account.”
Before withholding the accounts in India Twitter had notified the account holders about the action which is taken after a legal request by the government of India.
A highly placed Indian official in the know-how of the issue (who doesn’t want to be named) told The Australia Today, “We are seeing a kind of nexus between groups wanting to circulate ‘divisive and hateful’ messages using social influencers.”
“What happened in Punjab in the 1980s was our collective suffering, terrorists killed and raped thousands of Hindus and Sikhs and security forces also did atrocities which can not be denied, but these people using it to spread hate will not be tolerated,” She added.
Manish Kumar says, “L-Fresh the Lion’s tweets are restricted in India but what about people like me who are here and can see them.”
“I feel really scared to say anything openly about this my family has also told me not to discuss our sufferings for fear of my safety,” added Mr Kumar.
Note: The Australia Today have written to Mr L-Fresh The Lion for his comments on the issue. If we hear back from him, the story will be updated.