More content blocked, India raises fake images with Pak
A day after some of the morphed online images and hate messages against people of the Northeast were reportedly traced to Pakistan, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde took up the issue on Sunday with Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik, seeking Islamabad's cooperation in controlling spread of such offensive content.
Shinde raised the matter when Malik called him up on Sunday morning to congratulate him on taking over as home minister. Shinde told Malik that the fake images and messages had created panic among people of the Northeast, prompting hundreds to flee urban centres such as Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mumbai for their home states, fearing attacks after Ramzan.
The government also blocked an additional 80 web pages as well as user accounts and blogs for circulating offensive material. On Saturday, 76 web pages had been blocked for the same reasons. Home Secretary R K Singh had said a bulk of the images and videos on these web pages, mostly doctored or taken from events unrelated to the violence in Assam, had been uploaded from Pakistan.
While there was no official response from the Pakistan High Commission, sources rejected Indian government allegations. "Pakistan wants a stable and peaceful neighbour," said a source, adding that such charges widen the trust deficit between the two countries.
A Home Ministry report hinted at the involvement of Pakistan-based terror outfit Jamaat-e-Islami in starting the rumours. It has identified a video posted on YouTube on July 13 showing a protest march against the alleged mass killings of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. A banner of Jamaat-e-Islami is seen clearly in the video. Thereafter, pictures from situations as diverse as an earthquake in Tibet to Thailand were picked up and mischievously circulated as proof of violence against the Muslim community. None of the images in fact pertains to the recent violence in Assam.
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