To check spread of rumors which has led to exodus of north eastern people from certain states, government banned from Friday bulk SMS and MMS for 15 days across the country.
“We have banned bulk SMS and MMS for 15 days,” Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh told PTI.
The decision was taken after reports of widespread circulation of SMS and MMS containing misleading information about Assam violence, threats to people of north-eastern origin living in other parts of the country and doctored videos.
The Home Ministry has asked Department of Telecommunications to implement the order through the telecom operators. From Friday onwards, no one will be able to send more than 5 SMS in one go and more than 20 KB of data through mobile phones during the ban period.
The ban came into force after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that spread of rumors by miscreants had led to people belonging to the north east to flee from Bangalore, Pune and some other parts of the country.
Noting that the guilty should be brought to book, the Prime Minister said that at stake was not just unity and integrity of the country, but also communal harmony.
“Any miscreant fanning rumors should be brought to book,” he said.