Shinde tells Malik that Pak must act against rumour mongers: TV report
New Delhi/Islamabad, Aug.19 (ANI): Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik is reported to have spoken with his Indian counterpart Sushil Kumar Shinde on Sunday about the northeast exodus, and has been told explicitly that Islamabad needs to act firmly against rumour mongers operating from Pakistani soil.
An angry Indian Government has reportedly said that it has enough technical and intelligence-related evidence with it that suggests that a new media "hate campaign" was launched from Pakistan this past week that led to people of northeast origin living in different parts of India to flee back to various northeastern states.
Television channel Times Now said that it has a 43-page report from the Union Home Ministry that details how social media is being abused wantonly, and Pakistan has a clear hand in the so-called 'hate campaign'.
Malik is also said to have invited Shinde to visit Pakistan. Home Ministry sources told media that as of now there are no plans for Shinde to visit Pakistan, and should such a plan emerge, it would decided on dates mutually accepted by the governments of the two countries.
The conversation between Shinde and Malik took place even as Pakistan and India verbally traded charges over who was to blame for the exodus of people of northeast origin.
While Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Moazzam Khan said New Delhi needed to prove that people from Pakistan were responsible for fanning the exodus, and that the Indian authorities should act responsibly on issues of a sensitive nature, India's Home Secretary Raj Kumar Singh said that technical and intelligence facts available with the home ministry pointed to Pakistan playing a role in the crisis.
On Saturday, Singh categorically stated that Pakistan is the origin of the bulk of SMS and MMS transmissions that prompted the exodus of thousands of people hailing from India"s northeastern states to flee from across the country.
Singh clarified that designated intelligence agencies have confirmed this news and also mentioned that this matter would be now taken up with the External Affairs Ministry.
"Bulk of these messages and these clips have their origin in our western neighbourhood in Pakistan. That is what our agencies has discovered that bulk of these have been uploaded in various websites in Pakistan and that shows the thing," said Singh.
Rumours had been circulating that people from northeast India who live in Bangalore-nearly 2,000 miles (3,000 kilometres) -- to the south, are about to be attacked en masse. This is because of violence that flared between Bodo tribes and Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants in the northeastern state of Assam in July.
Singh also said that the photographs, which are being circulated across the country, as victims of ethnic riots were actually the photographs of cyclone and earthquake affected people.
"Number of people whose photographs were being circulated which had photographs of people died in cyclone and they were being portrayed as people who have been killed in violence in Myanmar.
The photographs of damage in earthquake and they were being circulated as the houses of minority community damaged in violence in Bodo territorial area districts," said Singh.
Muslims across India have been alarmed by clashes in recent weeks between indigenous people in Assam and Muslim settlers from neighbouring Bangladesh.
At least 77 people have been killed and more than 400,000 are crowded into filthy refugee camps. As a result of this SMS transmitted to people hailing from northeastern states of India, on Wednesday, almost 6,000 people had booked tickets to Guwahati in Assam.
Consequently intelligence agencies had blocked several websites and restricted bulk messages with an aim to thwart the panic stricken messages and mails.
Singh said that seven people have been identified for spreading rumours across the Bangalore.
"74 such websites have been blocked already. 34 more have been identified by one of the intelligence agencies. Those 34 will also be blocked. Seven people have been identified as having originated or circulating these messages in Karnataka. Out of these three have been arrested and four are being located," said Singh. (ANI)
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