Center gathering evidence to confront Pak
Clues indicate MMSes came from neighbouring country, says MHA
The Centre is preparing to pass on to Islamabad evidence of incendiary messages and morphed images sent from Pakistani soil to inflame feelings in the minority community in India.
“Evidence will be shared with Pakistan as intelligence agencies and cyber forensic experts have come across clues which suggest that doctored images were uploaded from Pakistan to provoke Muslims in the country,” Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said here on Monday.
The preliminary findings will be shared with Pakistan during Foreign Minister S M Krishna’s visit to Islamabad in September for bilateral talks.
“A number of sites have been blocked and several sites where images were uploaded from Pakistan have been identified,” confirmed Home Secretary R K Singh. “It is difficult to say who is behind it in Pakistan since that needs further probe. But some photographs have one or two organisations’ name inscribed on it,” he added.
However, ministry sources clarified that till now, terrorist outfits in Pakistan have not figured in the investigations.
The preliminary reports said miscreants uploaded images of natural calamities in Bhutan and Myanmar, morphed them before uploading the images on social networking sites to incite the minority community against North-Easterners.
It also mentions retaliatory mails from the North-East community against the minority community.
The report also claims that hardliners in Pakistan are trying to project the assault on minority community members in Assam as “organised persecution.”
According to the report, the perpetrators first spread the message through social media, before inciting people in Internet chatrooms to gain support.
“The report has lifted these gory posts from Facebook, websites and YouTube to demonstrate the attempts made to flare up passions. It also contains names of the cities and individuals’ photographs to show their nefarious designs,” sources said.
The government is also planning to take up the CERT-In findings with the international forum as it has turned out to be the biggest instance of cyber war against India in recent times.
Sources said states had been asked to registered cases under the Information Technology Act and the IPC wherever provocative videos and SMSes triggered communal clashes. “These steps will help to gather legal evidence which will be eventually handed over to Pakistan,” they said..
The Centre has already blocked 89 of the 254 URLs identified, including links on social networking sites and other websites. The Centre has sought help from the Computer Emergency Response Team-India (CERT-In) to get to the bottom of the conspiracy.Meanwhile, the Delhi Police have arrested one person for circulating objectionable material on the internet, while intelligence agencies have identified two persons at Agra and Mumbai, believed to be part of the group that conceived the plan to wreck havoc in the country.
Youth held for posting sensitive images
Amid exodus of North-Easterners following rumours post-Assam riots, a youth was arrested for allegedly morphing pictures of last year’s Maval firing and the recent Mumbai’s Azad Maidan mayhem and uploading them on social networking site Facebook, police said on Monday.
Kiran Bapu Pankar (22), a resident of Panchavati area here, was arrested on Sunday by city police after Mumbai crime branch noticed the uploaded post on Facebook and informed the Nashik police about it.