New Delhi, Aug 20 (IBNS): India has blocked 245 web pages for inflammatory content hosting that triggered a fear psychosis among the people of Northeast who left Indian cities for their home states after they were threatened by some groups with a possible backlash for the Assam situation where the tribal Bodos and Muslim settlers were clashing for over a month causing deaths and displacement.
The government said it is monitoring provocative and harmful content continuously.
"A lot of inflammatory and harmful content/information has been found to be appearing on the social networking sites hosted outside the country. Bulk of the content/information, which contained images and videos mostly morphed, aimed at targeting people of North East," the Home Ministry said.
"Most of the content were taken from events unrelated to the incident occurred in Assam. Hosting of such morphed image/video led to a lot of inciting comments from users on the blogs hosting such morphed images/videos and circulation of hate SMSes.
"It disturbed the peace and harmony among the communities leading to public disorder and exodus of North Eastern people from some parts of the country," the government said.
Considering the sensitivity and after effects of such inflammatory and harmful content hosted on the social networking sites, the Department of Electronics & Information Technology had issued an advisory on Aug 17 to all the intermediaries including national and international social networking sites, advising them to take necessary action to disable such inflammatory and hateful content hosted on their websites on priority basis.
The Department of Electronics & Information Technology also called a meeting of the representatives of international social networking sites based in India and advised them to take all possible action to disable such content immediately.
The government said the initial response from international social networking sites indicates that such content have been hosted from outside the country and to a large extent from a neighboring country (Pakistan).
An intermediary social networking site has responded that the up-loaders of the inflammatory and hateful content are outside the jurisdiction of the country, thereby implying that they are not obliged to take any constructive step to deal with it.
The proxy servers and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services which hide the user identity operating from number of countries appear to have been used for uploading the content.
The agencies are continuously monitoring hosting of such inflammatory and harmful content, the government said.
India on Saturday had categorically said Pakistan is the origin of the SMSes and morphed images that triggered anti-Northeast sentiments and threats in various cities and led to an exodus of fear-stricken people of the NE region who were living outside for work and education.
Though exodus of northeast Indians from various parts of the country, fearing for their safety, subsided partially on Saturday after reassurances of security flowed from various corners, it is far from being over and people continue to leave cities like Pune and Bangalore after receiving real threats as well.
At least 78 people were killed in the Assam violence between Bodos and Muslim settlers since July and countless were rendered homeless and sheltered in relief camps.