Many of the rumours that have triggered panic among people of the northeast in several states came from Pakistan, Union home secretary RK Singh said Saturday.
“A total of 76 websites were identified where morphed images were uploaded, and the bulk of these were uploaded in Pakistan,” Singh said.
“Morphed images and photographs of people who had died in cyclones and earthquakes were posted as victims of violence in Assam on 76 websites. All these websites have been blocked. Thirty-four more sites have been identified, and they will also be blocked soon,” he said. “We believe it is 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,” R K Singh said.
The home secretary said the issue would be raised with Pakistan. “I am certain they will refute it but our technical team of experts is certain about the origin,” he said. As a step to stop rumours being spread, the union government had on Friday imposed a 15-day ban on bulk SMSes and MMSes.
The Karnataka and Assam police are looking for some people who were responsible for circulating the SMSes, Singh said, adding that no linkages have been found between those arrested and any known terrorist group.
“But one of our agencies has identified another person who has been arrested. He has indicated certain linkages which are being investigated,” he said.
Driven by rumours, over 30,000 people from the northeast 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. In Guwahati, Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi said he has suspected from the very beginning that foreign forces were behind the rumours.