Rumours sourced from Pakistan

Rumours sourced from Pakistan

Exodus from Blore down; sites blocked

The Centre said on Saturday that SMSes and MMSes, which triggered panic and led to exodus of people from Bangalore and other southern cities to North-Eastern states, were originated from Pakistan. 

“A total of 76 websites have been identified where morphed images were found and bulk of these were uploaded in Pakistan,” Union Home Secretary R K Singh told news channels in the national capital.
He said all these websites had since been blocked. To stem rumours from spreading further, the government has banned SMSes and MMSes for 15 days.

Director-General and Inspector General of Police L R Pachau announced in Bangalore that the police had smashed a ring that was spreading malicious and panic-creating SMSes in the city.

The police had raided a mobile shop in the city’s Koramangala area and arrested three men, identified as Anees Pasha (26), his brother Thaseen Nawaz (32) and Shahid Salman Khan (22). Four mobile phones, two computers and a laptop used for sending text messages and uploading videos on social-networking sites have been seized.  

In New Delhi, Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar met Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and informed him that threatening calls made to the people of the North-East originated from Assam. The Karnataka Police are now working closely with their Assam counterparts to zero in on the culprits, sources told Deccan Herald.

In Uttar Pradesh, a day after members of a minority community went on the rampage to protest against communal clashes in Assam, the government tightened security and urged the people to ignore misguiding SMSes.

The government sounded a high alert after law and order was disrupted on Friday, as an irate mob damaged vehicles and shops and also manhandled media persons. It was found that inflammatory SMSes about the recent ethnic clashes in Assam were being widely circulated in the sensitive areas of the states.

Singh said bodies of victims of cyclones and earthquakes in different part of the world were shown as victims of violence in Myanmar in the morphed images. 

He said Pakistan was trying to foment trouble in India by spreading false rumours by uploading morphed MMS and false SMSes. Indian Investigative agencies have definite clue about Pakistan’s role in the entire issue and the government would take up the matter with neighbouring country.

"We believe it is highly reprehensible. I think it needs to be made known to everybody that this is something that is being done from Pakistan. The bulk of it has been done from Pakistan," he said.

In Bangalore, the mass exodus of North-East community members went down and no Guwahati-bound special trains plied. About 800 people boarded regular trains to the North-East. Three persons have been arrested by the police for spreading the rumours and sending messages.  

As a confidence-building exercise, the state government has deployed about 1,000 personnel from Rapid Action Force and CRPF along with 600 home guards and 1,500 trainee police personnel. This is in addition to the 17,000 police personnel of the City. T Suneel Kumar, Additional Commissioner (Law and Order), said: “We have identified sensitive areas with the inputs from the North-East community and deployed our force in these areas. We have formed pickets in these areas.” 

With only about 300 passengers bound for the North-East at the City railway station till 6 pm, the South Western Railway shifted them to Yeshwantpur station to board the Howrah Express. Eventually, 800 of them left by the Express, which had an additional coach. Many left to Chennai and Hyderabad to catch direct trains to Guwahati from there.

Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister R Ashoka said the police would conduct peace meetings in every police station limits and monitor the movement of rowdy sheeters. 
The Manipur energy minister will arrive in Bangalore on Sunday, Ashoka said.

Lull after storm

* Bulk of SMS and MMSes sourced from Pakistan

* 76 websites had morphed images a bulk of which was uploaded in Pakistan, says Centre

* Exodus of North-East community subsides in Bangalore

* Only 800 people boarded regular trains; no special trains 

* Bangalore Police bust three-member gang that spread malicious and panic-creating SMSes in the City

* Chief Minister Shettar informs Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde that threatening calls were made to North-East people from Assam

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