New Delhi: Pakistan has rejected as "unfounded" India's assertion that elements in this country were using social media networking sites to whip up communal sentiments and create a scare among people from northeast, and asked New Delhi to provide evidence in this regard.
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde in a telephonic conversation with his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik on Sunday 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.
Responding to Shinde’s claims, Malik said that 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 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.
Meanwhile, no further incident was reported from Bangalore, where security was tightened ahead of Eid on Monday, while the Karnataka government appealed to all those people from the North East who had fled following threats or rumoured threats to return, assuring them of all security.
Thousands of students from North East 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 promising retaliation for the ethnic violence in the northeastern state of Assam last month.
Situation normal, asserts K’taka CM
In Bangalore, Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar asserted the situation was now normal.
"The situation in Bangalore is under control with no untoward incident during the last two days. Security has been tightened across the city to ensure a peaceful Eid celebration Monday," he said.
Shettar also appealed to all the northeast people who fled the city since August 15 to return to Bangalore and the state as there was no cause to stay away or threat to their safety.
Deputy Chief Minister R Ashoka, who holds the home portfolio, reviewed the law and order situation and deployment of additional forces in Bangalore and other cities across the state with top police and government officials.
Ashoka also met Nagaland Power Minister Doshehe Y Sema and a senior state police official, who flew in from Kohima to meet their people living in the city and assure them of their safety and security.
(With Agency inputs)
First Published: Monday, August 20, 2012, 08:50