Cyber cell admits to failure in NE violence, exodus case

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Pune cyber crime cell, that has been investigating the cases of provocative SMSs and MMSs that allegedly triggered violence against residents of North Eastern states in August last year, has now admitted that the probe has reached a dead end, with the sleuths failing in tracking down the original sender of those doctored messages.

They have cited some "technical reasons" for this failure. Till date, the cell has arrested five persons in connection with the cases.

It may be recalled that in August last year, a large number of residents from the North Eastern states staying in Pune mostly workers and students had left the city en mass to return home for fear of violent attacks. Police investigation revealed that the fear was generated by inflammatory messages that were being circulated among pepple in days prior to exodus.

The clips had used disturbing images of violence and dead bodies that reportedly had some links to riots in Myanmar. The SMSs, however, that were sent around had wrongly linked people from the Northeastern states to them due to their mongoloid features.

Primary investigation had led the police to arrest four persons from Pune for sending and spreading the SMSs. A teacher from Mumbai was also arrested for having allegedly uploaded the video 'Burma Riots, Thrilling Pictures 2012' on youtube.com.

In the days hat followed, many YouTube videos, Facebook accounts and Blogs were removed from public domain on Pune police's request. In this case, police investigation was mainly based on information received from social networking sites.

Cases were registered at the Lashkar and Kondhwa police stations under Section 153(a) of IPC for inciting negative feeling between different communities, as well as Section 66 of Information Technology Act.

A senior officer with the cyber crime cell said: "We have now reached a dead end in this probe. We arrested a person who had uploaded the clip on YouTube, which was later circulated as MMS. But more than 15 such videos were uploaded from Pakistan. Though we have traced the IP (Internet Protocol) addresses, there is a very lengthy process for further action and we have no chance of a breakthrough."

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