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Govt bans bulk SMSes

delhi Updated: Sep 23, 2010 01:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Fears that miscreants could try exploiting religious sentiments to create trouble after the Ayodhya title suit verdict on Friday prompted the government to ban bulk messages for the next three days and issue another call for peace and patience in understanding the implications of the judgment.

Home Minister P.Chidambaram said it was possible that there would be one or more judgments delivered by the three-judge special Bench.

“The judgments would have to be read carefully, and the findings of the Hon’ble judges on each of the issues in the four suits would have to be analysed meticulously, before any conclusions may be drawn,” Home Minister P. Chidambaram said in a statement two days ahead of the Allahabad High Court judgement.

The home minister had reviewed the precautionary measures taken by governments. Hours later, the telecom ministry directed all mobile service providers to ban all bulk SMS and MMS. A telecom ministry statement said the decision to ban bulk messages — usually used by telemarketing firms — was taken in consultation with the home ministry. It would come into force with immediate effect and last for 72 hours, till Saturday evening.

In his statement, the home minister said the issues before the court involved complicated questions of fact and law, especially relating to possession, dispossession, worship etc.

“It would be inappropriate to reach any hasty conclusion that one side has 'won' or that the other side has 'lost',” the home minister said.

Chidambaram referred to the right of the parties concerned to appeal against the high court verdict, a point that Home Secretary G.K. Pillai had made yesterday when he referred to the verdict as a “semi-final”.

The security establishment has identified about three dozen locations that had a history of communal violence.

Chidambaram said the states had been advised to take adequate measures to maintain law and order, especially in sensitive areas. “No one needs to have any apprehension, and if every one realises his or her obligations to society, we can, working together, ensure that there is peace....,” he said.

“Apart from making an appeal for peace, it is the duty of all organisations to actively work to maintain peace. In particular, all organisations must urge their members not to spread rumours or make provocative statements,” he said.