Online rumours on Assam riots terror handiwork: Shinde

New Delhi, Sep 6 (IANS) Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde Thursday said the communal colour given to the recent ethnic violence in Assam was "unfortunate" and noted that the "motivated" online rumours were evidence of terrorists misusing cyber space.

At a three-day police chiefs conference that kicked off here, Shinde said security forces should develop skills in the cyber domain to not only locate the malicious content, but also identify those responsible.

"It is unfortunate that the recent violence caused by the ethnic groups in Assam has been given communal colour and has resulted in heavy loss of lives and displacement of people," he said in his inaugural address.

"There is an increasing evidence of resort taken by terrorists to the cyber space domain," he said.

The recent incidents in Bangalore in Karnataka, Pune in Maharashtra and other states in India, during which motivated rumours were spread and social networking media were used irresponsibly, posed a new challenge, he said.

Shinde said that besides providing a pervasive infrastructure for discreet communication, cyber space was proving to be a facilitator for malevolents seeking to enlist new recruits and to purvey a distorted version of the reality.

"Anonymity that the user acquires in this medium can sometimes test the capacities of even the most experienced police investigator," he added.

On the situation in Assam, where the ethnic clashes last month resulted in more than 80 people being killed and thousands being displaced, the home minister expressed happiness over normalcy being restored and people returning to their homes from relief camps "due to the security arrangements made by the state police in vulnerable areas".

He requested the state government to take all possible measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents in the future.

Shinde said the security situation in the northeast had by and large been improving because of the multi-pronged strategy adopted by the central government towards the demands of the insurgent groups in the region.

"The insurgent groups are gradually realising that the central government is serious about elevating the socio-economic status of the ethnic groups in the northeast and is providing funds," he added.

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Updated Date: Sep 06, 2012 23:17:09 IST