New Delhi: The Centre on Monday asked the states to deal with communal disturbances with an iron fist saying such troubles should be nipped in the bud by promptly apprehending the culprits.
In his concluding remarks at the meeting of the National Integration Council, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said if due vigil is maintained, careful planning done and preemptive measures put in place, many potential incidents of communal violence can be prevented.
Shinde said wherever riots take place, they can be contained effectively and much human suffering avoided if it is tackled with promptness, grit and determination.
"I emphasise that there should be zero tolerance for elements who incite communal passions and the state machinery should strictly enforce the laws to promptly apprehend the culprits and nip the troubles in the bud," he said.
The Home Minister said the country was facing emerging challenges in the wake of use of technology like social media and they have the potential to create enormous trouble but, if used properly, can be a powerful tool for spreading the message of peace and brotherhood.
"Rightful concern has been expressed on the misuse of cyber space and social networking sites. Internet has become a powerful tool but it is a double-edged weapon," he said.
Shinde said in the past, the social networking sites and the Internet has been misused for negative propaganda for inciting communal hatred and for spread panic among certain communities.
Referring to the use of Section 66(a) of the Information Technology Act, he said certain procedural amendments have been brought about to ensure that approval for action under the Act is obtained at a sufficiently higher level.