Sushma Trolled on Twitter for ‘Minority Appeasing’

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj was trolled on Twitter over a controversy involving the issuance of passport to an inter-faith couple. Swaraj then “liked” over 200 tweets in which she was trolled.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj faced vile abuse on social media through the weekend over the controversy regarding transfer of a passport officer from Lucknow. The officer, Vikas Mishra, was transferred after an inter-faith couple tweeted at the minister accusing him of bigotry and public humiliation, while alleging that the officer asked Anas Siddiqui, the Muslim husband of Tanvi Seth, to convert to Hinduism.

Though the minister did not tweet responding to the couple’s concerns herself, Mishra was transferred to Gorakhpur. However, the narrative of what happened in Lucknow passport officer has since switched with Mishra insisting that he merely asked the couple about the discrepancy between the name — Tanvi Seth — on which she sought passport and the one she had used in her nikahnama, and asked her to get it corrected in records.

Mishra said the nikahnaama mentioned the woman’s name as Tanvi Anas and that he was required under the rules to seek clarification. A witness, Kuldeep Singh, came forward to second Mishra’s version that the officer had only sought the clarification and had referred the couple to his senior. The trolls held Swaraj directly responsible, accusing her of “minority appeasement” while defending the transferred officer, saying he was only following protocol.

The twitter-friendly minister on Sunday responded with a passive aggressive tweet to the hate and abuse. “I was out of India from 17th to 23rd June 2018. I do not know what happened in my absence. However, I am honoured with some tweets. I am sharing them with you. So I have liked them,” she said.

Her verified Facebook page also saw a jump in 1 star “reviews,” a feature of public pages on Facebook. In her “liked” tweets, one from a user called @Abhi_ 4_Nation read:
  • “Dear @SushmaSwaraj, Are you idiot? (sic) Why are you diluting all the great work just in order to intentionally become bulls**t secular? Are every citizen allowed to have passport or ID cards in multiple names? (sic) Is Drama allowed in your ministry? Or Ur Mental Status is not fine.”

This was among the more printable of the tweets which the minister was subjected to.


Terror funding mastermind arrested


Anti-terrorism squads of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra police on Thursday arrested a man from Pune for running a terror funding network. Identified as Ramesh Shah, the accused directly interacted with Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Taiba(LeT) handlers and arranged money for operatives spread across the country to run terror network in the country.
UP ATS officials said Shah, a resident of GorakhPur, had gone to Pune on a fake identity allegedly to hire men for his funding network. WhatsApp chats recovered from his mobile phone provided clinching evidences of his regular interactions with LeT, ATS sleuths claim. According to ATS officials, the 30-year-old Shah used to get money from Pakistan based handlers and from the middle-east. He would initially transfer that money to the accounts of some individuals, who would withdraw money and send it to his operatives, the UP ATS officials. The individuals were paid commission for using their accounts. Police said several crore of rupees were transferred by Shah to various bank accounts being operated in Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, and several other states. The probe agency came to know about Shah during interrogation of 10 people who were arrested for links with terror funding on March 24.

Among those arrested in March, Mukesh Prasad of Bihar and Musharraf Ansari of Kushinagar used to interact with Shah regularly. Some audio tapes and a diary were recovered from their possession which gave clues about Shah, the ATS sleuths said

After getting money from his handlers, Shah would transfer the money to the accounts of the innocent individuals and send a message to them through Prasad and Ansari to withdraw it deliver to the operatives at a pre-designated place,” a senior ATS official said, adding that Shah used to keep in touch with Pakistan based handlers via WhatsApp and internet calls.

UP ATS IG Asim Arun said Shah was running a racket to trap innocents for the past two years and used them for providing financial support to terror activities. He said Shah would be put through sustained interrogation to get specific information about his LeT handlers in Pakistan, the funding trail and for what purpose the money was finally being used.

According to the ATS sleuths, Shah was an expert in computer programming and hardware. He came to settle from Gopalganj in Bihar to Gorakhpur in early 2000 with his father Harishankar.