‘Web hate’ won’t be on agenda when PM meets Zardari

Although some people had been arrested,it was difficult to place blame,they said.

Written by PranabDhalSamanta | Tehran | Published: August 29, 2012 1:23 am

Moving away from the Home Ministry’s stance to blame Pakistan for the inflammatory online content linked to violence against Muslims in Myanmar and Assam,India does not plan to spar with Islamabad over the controversy as there is no evidence yet to support the allegation,top government sources said.

In fact,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,who arrived in the Iranian capital on Tuesday for the NAM summit,does not intend to raise this issue with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari when the two are likely to meet on the sidelines as India does not see it as a “state to state” issue,the sources said.

The problem of inflammatory online content had to be first dealt with domestically as it is “something new” for Indian security forces,the sources said,adding that a cyber security coordinator’s office is being created in the National Security Council Secretariat to help the effort. This office will regularly monitor the Internet with the help of concerned agencies for sensitive content and work on technical solutions to prevent trouble.

A group has already been formed after the recent incidents to review cyberspace and until now,the government has no specific evidence against Pakistan. The share of inflammatory posts uploaded from Pakistan,after the review,is now down to 26-28 per cent from the 40 per cent claimed initially. Also,no inflammatory text messages were generated from Pakistan,sources said.

They also said that there is no evidence yet of a conspiracy behind the spate of text messages and Internet posts that caused thousands of people from Northeast India to flee cities such as Bangalore,Pune,Mumbai and Hyderabad. Although some people had been arrested,it was difficult to place blame,they said.

While the CBI has been asked to send teams to these cities to find out if there was a conspiracy angle at all,not much is being expected from the exercise. “If you ask me,there was no single mother-brain at work here,” said a senior government source.

However,the government feels that there is a need to make a case for international rules to govern cyberspace. “This is an anarchic space. There is no sovereignty at work here,so we have always been saying that there should be some international rules,” the source said.

The government is also unwilling to describe the spate of violent incidents in Assam as communal violence. “What we are seeing is something new which is a combination of ethnic identity,aspiration and then religion gets added to it. Because it ends up being communal does not mean it’s communal violence like the way we have known it in the past,” the source said.

The Centre is of the view that like in the past,calm will return only gradually to Assam. Sources pointed out that even in 2008,it took some months for normalcy to return after clashes between Bodos and Muslims.

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