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India takes up MMS issue with Pak

By Spl CORRESPONDENT
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NEW DELHI, Aug 19 � Rattled by the discovery of offensive internet posts supposedly of Assam violence being uploaded in neighbouring Pakistan, Union Home Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde on Sunday urged his counterpart, Rehman Malik to act.

The Interior Minister of Pakistan had called Shinde to convey his Idd greetings, when Malik was told about India�s disappointment over the issue of social media-networking sites being misused by elements based in Pakistan to circulate false pictures and stories so as to whip up communal sentiments in India.

The grotesque images of BTAD violence particularly those targeting a particular community have played havoc in stirring passions among a section resulting in threats to North Easterners to quit. Surcharged atmosphere in several cities triggered exodus of an estimated 20,000 people back to North-east.

The Union Home Minister has sought Pakistan�s full cooperation in checking and neutralising such elements. Shinde expressed these views when Malik spoke to him today over telephone. This was the first direct contact between the two Ministers, official sources said.

Shinde conveyed his Idd wishes to Malik and the people of Pakistan. The Union Home Minister expressed the hope that the occasion would herald an improvement in Indo-Pak relations, said an official statement.

Both concluded the discussion by agreeing to continue the mutual cooperation and to work towards rooting out terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

Yesterday, Union Home Secretary, RK Singh took everyone by surprise when he divulged that morphed images circulated online that fuelled panic and fear among people from the North-east originated in Pakistan.

�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,� he said.

�A total of 76 websites were identified where morphed images were uploaded and bulk of these was uploaded in Pakistan,� Singh said.

Technical investigation has established that a bulk of the incendiary images was first uploaded on blogs in Pakistan,� disclosed Singh.

�I am sure Pakistan will deny its involvement, but we have fairly accurate technical evidence to show that the images originated and were circulated from their territory,� he told newsmen on Saturday.

The rumours were spread almost as an offensive given that all the images were doctored and meant to inflame passions across India.

�As many as 110 websites were involved in spreading the doctored clips. We have blocked 76 of them, and are in the process of getting others deactivated,� he said.

Further, India on Sunday also got in touch with Google, Facebook and other social networking sites, which hosted provocative blogs.

Singh said images of death and destruction caused by a cyclone have been morphed to be passed off as a case of atrocity on Muslims in Assam, while bodies of victims of an earthquake which occurred months ago were juxtaposed with photographs of Buddhist monks to project violence on Muslims in Myanmar by Buddhists.

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India takes up MMS issue with Pak

NEW DELHI, Aug 19 � Rattled by the discovery of offensive internet posts supposedly of Assam violence being uploaded in neighbouring Pakistan, Union Home Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde on Sunday urged his counterpart, Rehman Malik to act.

The Interior Minister of Pakistan had called Shinde to convey his Idd greetings, when Malik was told about India�s disappointment over the issue of social media-networking sites being misused by elements based in Pakistan to circulate false pictures and stories so as to whip up communal sentiments in India.

The grotesque images of BTAD violence particularly those targeting a particular community have played havoc in stirring passions among a section resulting in threats to North Easterners to quit. Surcharged atmosphere in several cities triggered exodus of an estimated 20,000 people back to North-east.

The Union Home Minister has sought Pakistan�s full cooperation in checking and neutralising such elements. Shinde expressed these views when Malik spoke to him today over telephone. This was the first direct contact between the two Ministers, official sources said.

Shinde conveyed his Idd wishes to Malik and the people of Pakistan. The Union Home Minister expressed the hope that the occasion would herald an improvement in Indo-Pak relations, said an official statement.

Both concluded the discussion by agreeing to continue the mutual cooperation and to work towards rooting out terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

Yesterday, Union Home Secretary, RK Singh took everyone by surprise when he divulged that morphed images circulated online that fuelled panic and fear among people from the North-east originated in Pakistan.

�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,� he said.

�A total of 76 websites were identified where morphed images were uploaded and bulk of these was uploaded in Pakistan,� Singh said.

Technical investigation has established that a bulk of the incendiary images was first uploaded on blogs in Pakistan,� disclosed Singh.

�I am sure Pakistan will deny its involvement, but we have fairly accurate technical evidence to show that the images originated and were circulated from their territory,� he told newsmen on Saturday.

The rumours were spread almost as an offensive given that all the images were doctored and meant to inflame passions across India.

�As many as 110 websites were involved in spreading the doctored clips. We have blocked 76 of them, and are in the process of getting others deactivated,� he said.

Further, India on Sunday also got in touch with Google, Facebook and other social networking sites, which hosted provocative blogs.

Singh said images of death and destruction caused by a cyclone have been morphed to be passed off as a case of atrocity on Muslims in Assam, while bodies of victims of an earthquake which occurred months ago were juxtaposed with photographs of Buddhist monks to project violence on Muslims in Myanmar by Buddhists.

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