New Delhi: Highlighting the misuse of social media by anti-national forces to spread communal disharmony, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, "Social media is about expressing opinions freely and we need to maintain that sense of freedom. We cannot let anti-national forces misuse social media."
The Prime Minister was speaking at the National Integration Council meet on Monday which was held in the backdrop of Muzaffarnagar riots, in which over 40 people died. He added that some old videos were used to incite violence in the communities.
Condemning the politicisation of the communal riots, he said, "I request everyone not to politicise any communal disharmony. The government should take strong action against anyone who incites communal violence and provide rehabilitation to victims."
He also blamed anti-national forces for escalating communal disharmony. He said, "The anti-national forces are using minor incidents to escalate communal disharmony in the society. We are determined to control these forces."
The meeting chaired by the Prime Minister chairing was attended chief ministers of several states. However, the BJP'S chief ministers are absent from the meet, most notably Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. The only BJP Chief Minister present was Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Bihar Chief minister Nitish Kumar who was attending the meet said all weapons should be banned in religious yatra. He also said it is crucial to examine political involvement in riots.
Earlier this morning the Prime Minister came down heavily on the UP administration over the handling of the Muzaffarnagar riots. On the agenda for the meeting is the use of social media in fanning communal tensions. Also, violence against women will be discussed.