Social media being used to foment communal trouble: Karnataka

New Delhi, Sep 23 (IANS) Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah Monday expressed concern over use of social media to foment communal trouble in the state.

Though Karnataka has maintained communal harmony, "the number of communal tensions in the current year continues to be an area of concern", he said in his speech, read out by state Home Minister K.J. George, at the National Integration Council meeting here.

"The major issues have been the use of social media to foment trouble in the sensitive areas with a view to disturb the communal harmony. Some groups have been engaging in transmitting bulk SMSes to mobilise people and opinion on such issues," he said.

However, Siddaramaiah did not suggest any step or imposition of curbs to prevent misuse of social media.

He said since the Congress government came to power this year there had been "steady decline in the number of communal incidents and tension reported".

The Congress wrested power from the Bharatiya Janata Party in the May 5 assembly elections and formed the government May 13 with Siddaramaiah as chief minister.

"The cases of moral policing are being closely monitored at the highest level to ensure that communal clashes do not occur as a consequence," the chief minister said.

On tackling terror threats, he urged the central government to be "more pro-active" in providing assistance to states to tackle them, "especially those funded and supported by external forces."

"In my opinion, there is also a strong need for greater degree of co-ordination between central and state intelligence agencies," he said.

Siddaramaiah said to tackle "the issue of growth of religious fundamentalism and terrorism" in Karnataka, the Internal Security Division of the state police department "has been strengthened to develop operational capability through trained and dedicated counter-terror teams".

The state has also set up the Karnataka State Industrial Security Force to secure the vital installations in the state.

"This unit is also being merged with the Internal Security Division," Siddaramaiah said.

He said there "is a drastic reduction in the crimes against women during 2013 when compared to the previous years".

The crimes against SC/STs (the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) in the state "have drastically come down in 2013 as compared to the previous three years", Siddaramaiah said.

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