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SMS FEAR MONGERING: Many Rumours Sourced from Pakistan

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Bulk of the rumours that triggered panic among people of northeastern states in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra were sourced from Pakistan, Union Home secretary RK Singh said on Saturday.

"A total of 76 websites were identified where morphed images were uploaded and bulk of these were uploaded in Pakistan," Singh said.

"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.

He said all these websites have since been blocked. As a step towards rumours being spread, Government has imposed a 15-day ban on bulk SMSes and MMSes.

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.

Apart from these websites, 34 more have been identified and Government was in the process of blocking them soon, he said.

Driven by rumours, over 30,000 northeast people have left Bangalore fearing attacks on them while many of them have fled Chennai and Pune in the last three days, notwithstanding assurances from the Centre and the state governments.

Seven People Arrested:

Cracking the whip in the wake of the exodus, police arrested seven persons on Friday on charges of attack, intimidation and sending "false" SMSes to people of the region. 

In confidence building measures, six companies of Rapid Action Force have been deployed, besides increased police patrolling in areas prominently inhabited by people from the North Eastern states, official sources said.

The exodus of North Easterners from the city to their home states on fears of attacks showed signs of subsiding on the fourth day on Saturday since they started fleeing, according to indications from Railway authorities.

Even as a few hundreds of North East people waited outside the city railway station to leave for their home states, fearing reprisals for the Assam violence, railway authorities this morning did not announce any special trains.

They said it is too early to take a call to arrange for special trains unless ticket sales reaches a cut off point of 2,500 a day.

"Based on ticket sales, we will arrange for special trains. As of now sales have been slow paced."

However, they said they would take steps to arrange for special trains if ticket sales increase through the day as it did on Friday.

They said eight special trains had been arranged in the last three days, apart from three regular trains which had ferried nearly 30,000 people to their home states.

Assam Ministers Chandan Brahma and Nilamoni Sen Deka, who are in the city, had earlier said they were impressed with the steps taken by the government to safeguard the interests of people from the North East.


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