M A I N   N E W S

India wants Pak to act against radicals inciting N-E exodus
Shinde speaks to Malik, says Delhi has evidence
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 19
Armed with evidence that Pakistan-based radical organisations were using social networking sites to upload morphed videos and pictures to whip up communal sentiments against people of the North-East, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde called up his Pakistan counterpart Rehman Malik and asked him to act against such elements.

In the past one week, an estimated 25,000-30,000 people of North-East origin have fled Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune and Chennai after they received threatening SMSes and MMses. Social networking sites were flooded with hate messages against them. MHA spokesperson KS Dhatwalia said

Shinde spoke to Malik and told him that “social networking sites were being misused by elements based in Pakistan to circulate false pictures and stories to whip up communal passion in India”. This was first direct contact between Shinde and Mailk since the former took over the charge of the Home Ministry from P Chidambaram on July 31.

The Intelligence Bureau had found over 70 websites that were allegedly circulating inflammatory content. These were blocked following intervention of the computer emergency response teams that were stationed to monitor the incoming and outgoing internet-servers. Teams of software engineers traced the Internet protocol (IP) addresses to Pakistan. An IP address - unique to each landline broadband, datacard, hand-held mobiles or tablets - can be used to track down a person and location. New Delhi will share these details with Islamabad, sources said as Malik has asked India to send him the evidence. It would be sent through diplomatic channels.

Sources cited the IB report on the matter saying a socio-political Pakistani group had doctored images and spread them across social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Some Indian groups are also suspected to have played a role. “Most of the online content started getting posted from July 13 and fake profiles were created for spreading morphed pictures,” said the report.

"Pictures have been taken from different places such as Tibet earthquake, Thailand etc and most of the fake profiles have been created since end of July," it said. Malik briefly spoke to Shinde about pending issues between the two ministries and re-iterated his commitment to bring the masterminds and perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attack to justice. Malik also invited Shinde to visit Pakistan to sign the revised visa agreement.

The Ministry of External Affairs, too, is concerned over the developments and keeping a close watch on it. Since the matter has been raised by the Home Minister with his Pakistan counterpart, the next response would emerge after inter-ministry consultations, said sources.

“On such issues, inter-ministerial consultations are the first step and the Ministry of External Affairs will then take the agreed follow up action,” sources in the ministry said. The matter could figure when Foreign Minister SM Krishna meets his counterpart in Islamabad next month.


The usual suspect
  • A Pakistan-based hardline group is suspected to have been involved in doctoring images and spreading them across social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and You Tube to create scare among N-E people.
  • An IB report said pictures have been taken from different places such as Tibet earthquake, Thailand etc and most of the fake profiles have been created since end of July

Pak rebuffs charge

  • Pakistan on Sunday vehemently denied New Delhi's charge that morphed pictures of Assam and Myanmar violence which triggered an exodus of the people of northeastern states from other states originated in the neighbouring country. ''We want peaceful and stable relations with India...such statements only vitiate the atmosphere and do not in any way help the normalisation process,'' sources in the Pakistan High Commission said. 





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