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NE exodus: 250 websites blocked over morphed content

delhi Updated: Aug 20, 2012 17:46 IST
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Cracking down on websites circulating morphed pictures and videos, government today blocked 250 of them for uploading doctored videos and pictures that triggered exodus of northeast people from Karnataka and some other parts, PTI reported.

Government ordered blocking of 80 more internet pages and user-accounts on Sunday on social networking sites including Facebook, Google and Twitter to avoid panic among people of northeastern region living across India. All these sites were found hosting inflammatory and hateful content, spreading rumours and inciting violence targeting the people from north-east, government sources said.

On Saturday, the government had issued instructions to block 76 internet sites, which included web-pages and some websites, and had said that bulk of the rumours that triggered panic among people of north-eastern states in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra were sourced from Pakistan.

In the meanwhile, Pakistan has assured India that it will "look into" its assertion that elements in Pakistan used social media to whip up panic that led to the exodus of people from the northeastern states, but demanded that New Delhi first provide evidence for it.

"The Indian minister has said that rumours were generated from Pakistan through cellular services," Pakistani interior minister Rehman Malik told reporters in Islamabad while referring to his phone conversation with home minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Sunday.

Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde said on Monday, India will provide proof to Pakistan very soon.

In his telephonic conversation with Malik, Shinde had conveyed that elements based in Pakistan used social networking websites to circulate false pictures and stories so as to whip up communal sentiments in India.

Thousands of people from the northeast fled the southern Indian cities of Bangalore and Chennai after hate messages were spread through mobile phones and on Facebook in the past two days, threatening retaliation for the ethnic violence in the northeastern state of Assam last month.

Home Secretary RK Singh on Saturday said the bulk of rumours of imminent attacks on northeastern people for the killings of Muslims in Assam originated in Pakistan.

In New Delhi, sources in the Pakistan high commission vehemently rejected the charges and contended that such remarks only widened the trust deficit between the two countries, specially ahead of talks between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan in Islamabad next month.

(with IANS inputs)