India raises issue with Pakistan,seeks action
RUMOURS AFTER ASSAM VIOLENCE
New Delhi, Aug 19: A day after the government said that the morphed online content that created a scare among the North-East community originated from Pakistan, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has raised the issue with his counterpart in Islamabad, Rehman Malik.
Shinde, in a telephonic conversation with Interior Minister Malik, expressed concern over the misuse of social media by elements based in Pakistan.
On Saturday, Home Secretary RK Singh had said, "We have got a hold on the wrong messages, false images...Photos of people who had died in cyclones etc. were circulated as victims of violence in Myanmar and Bodoland...We want people to know that bulk of this was done from Pakistan. We will raise this issue with Pakistan. I am certain they will decline it but our technical team is certain."
In the first direct contact between the two Ministers, Shinde sought Pakistan's cooperation in checking and neutralising such elements.
Malik, who telephoned Shinde to convey Eid greetings, briefly spoke of the pending issues between the Home and Interior Ministries of the two countries and reiterated his commitment to bring the masterminds and perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attack to justice, a Home Ministry spokesperson said.
Both have agreed to continue the mutual cooperation and to work towards rooting out terrorism in all its form and manifestation.
Shinde thanked Malik and conveyed his Eid wishes to him and the people of Pakistan. Shinde hoped that the occasion would herald an improvement in Indo-Pak relations.
Malik also invited Shinde to visit Pakistan to sign the revised Visa agreement which has now been agreed to by both sides.
There are no longer special trains being organized from cities like Bangalore and Pune to Guwahati, and many of those who reached the Assam capital said they would return soon to those cities to get back to work or college.
Earlier, the Centre released an initial report on how social media was used to spread panic among people from the North-East, living in different parts of the country. The report says that a socio-political Pakistani group may have begun the process of doctoring images and spreading them across social networking sites like Facebook; a few Indian groups, though, are also suspected to have played a role. The report further says that pictures of earthquakes in Thailand and Tibet were morphed and circulated that triggered the panic.
The report goes on to say that the uploading and the circulation of the online content containing morphed images began on July 13, around the time when the clashes in Assam, that has led to over 70 deaths and displaced over four lakh people, started.
It also adds that fake profiles were created around the end of last month to push the online content aggressively on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to reportedly provoke violence. Several Indians have been found to have created these fake profiles to circulate pictures and link clashes in Myanmar and Assam.
The reports further states that an extremist group "is waging an online campaign after the outbreak of violent clashes in Myanmar." The report also details how some of the right-wing extremists retaliated once the campaign of morphed pictures started.
Over 70 websites that were allegedly circulating inflammatory content have been blocked by the government, says the report.
Seven people have been identified out of which three have been arrested for spreading rumours that spread quickly through the north-eastern communities of cities like Hyderabad and Bangalore.
Starting Wednesday, the SMS-es threatening students and professionals from the North-East convinced thousands to board special trains from Bangalore and Pune, both cosmopolitan cities, to Guwahati.
The Centre, on Friday, banned bulk SMs-es and MMS-es, so the same text message or video cannot be sent by phone to more than five recipients.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 19 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 19 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 20 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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