Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde in a telephonic conversation with his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik took up the issue of social media-networking sites being misused by elements in Pakistan to circulate false pictures and reports in a bid to create communal strife in India.
A Home Ministry spokesperson said Shinde expressed concern over this issue when Malik telephoned him to convey Eid greetings, a day after Union Home Secretary R K Singh said bulk of the rumours that triggered panic among people of Northeastern states in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra were sourced from Pakistan.
In the first contact between the two Ministers after Shinde got the Home portfolio, the Indian minister sought Pakistan's cooperation in checking and neutralising the elements.
Malik said so far India has not given any evidence on the role of Pakistan-based groups in this regard but said his country will look into it if it is provided.
"The Indian Minister has said that rumours were generated from Pakistan through cellular services," he told reporters in Islamabad during an interaction about his phone conversation with Shinde.
"I had requested him (Shinde) to provide evidence in this regard to us and we will take care of it," he added.
According to Singh, a total of 76 websites were identified where morphed images were uploaded and bulk of these were uploaded in Pakistan.
According to a report prepared by the Home Ministry, a Pakistan-based hardline group is suspected to have been involved in doctoring images and spreading them across social networking sites to whip up communal passions and create panic among people of northeastern region living across India.
Government is also learnt to have ordered blocking of 80 more Internet pages and user-accounts today on social networking sites including Facebook, Google and Twitter to avoid panic among the Northeasterners.
New Delhi/Islamabad: India on Sunday asked Pakistan to crack down on elements based there who were using social media networking sites to fan communal sentiments and create a scare among people from northeast in this country.
First Published: Sunday, August 19, 2012, 18:56