Hyderabad: With hashtags like #CoronaJihad and #Islamiccoronavirusjihad trending on social networking sites like Twitter, a Hyderabad-based lawyer has moved the High Court alleging that the hashtags, related to the COVID-19 pandemic, are Islamophobic.

The lawyer, Khaja Aijazuddin, has said, “These hashtags, which are often seen trending on Twitter, are illegal and insulting to the Muslim community.” According to a testimony he posted on social media, he had initially approached the Supreme Court last month, and based on the apex court's instructions, he approached the Telangana High Court.

The High Court, which heard the case on 22 June, issued a notice to Twitter as well as the Central government and asked them to file a counter-affidavit. The matter has been posted for the next hearing after four weeks, the lawyer said. “I had pressed the court for an interim order but it has maintained that the official respondents should file a counter-affidavit. I have prayed to the court to register a criminal case against Twitter and social media users who are responsible for trending these offensive hashtags,” he said.

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