Union Law and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today said that the Centre is "revising guidelines for all social media platforms" in order to put curbs on rumours being spread by people.
Prasad was replying to questions from India TV’s Editor-in-Chief Rajat Sharma in 'Aap Ki Adalat' show to be telecast tonight on India TV. The minister was asked about fake rumours about fresh riots that were circulated in Delhi last weekend causing a scare among people.
He said: "Yes, it is a matter of grave concern. We are going to revise the guidelines. As Law and IT Minister, I want to tell all the three big platforms, WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter, that India's laws that are applicable in such matters on our citizens are also applicable for them. I would like to tell them to not allow their platforms to be misused for peddling rumours, otherwise action will be taken."
Prasad praised Delhi Police and news channels for rubbishing these rumours about fresh riots within hours of being circulated.
Asked by Rajat Sharma about videos of provocative speeches by some Muslim clerics being posted on social media, Prasad replied: "I have asked my ministry to go through all such provocative videos. We are tightening our regulations and we will take strict action."
On the issue of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the minister said that the Centre was ready for a dialogue with anti-CAA protesters provided they come in a delegation.
"There can be no talks if they come in a procession. Two months ago, I had offered a structured dialogue. The Home Minister Amit Shah said he was willing to meet, but the protesters wanted to come in a procession. How can one talk with people in a procession?"
Prasad said, "As the Law Minister, I want to assure that not a single person from our minorities will be deported from the country."
"But I want to ask minorities a question,” said Prasad. “Can the US, UK, Germany, Sweden or France allow anybody to enter their countries and settle there? I am naming these countries because they are democracies. If they can maintain register for their citizens, it is alright, but if we even start a debate about preparing such a register, is it improper?" he asked.
Prasad, however, clarified that there was no proposal before the government to start work on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) presently.
"Even the format is not ready, nor has it come before the Cabinet. The Prime Minister has clearly said that there is no proposal for preparing NRC at the moment. At least have faith in the words of our Prime Minister," said Prasad.
Asked why no action was taken against a Central Minister (Anurag Thakur) who had chanted 'Desh Ke Gaddaron Ko…’ slogan during Delhi elections, Prasad replied: "Ye theek nahin hai ( this is not proper). We have an internal system in our party. The Home Minister Amit Shah has publicly said such a slogan is not proper. "
Prasad, however, questioned why Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi said in her Ramlila Maidan rally that "the fight this time will be "is paar yaa us paar"( this way, or that way).
“What is this language? She has been the chief for 20 years of a party that ruled the country for 50 years. She has been the wife of a PM and daughter-in-law of another PM. The people must think about this too," said Prasad.
The Law Minister said that the recent communal riots in Delhi were not spontaneous but premeditated. "A big cache of acid bombs, petrol bombs, huge slinks and stones were found from the house of a corporator. These cannot be accumulated overnight," he noted.
Rajat Sharma's show 'Aap Ki Adalat' featuring Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad was telecast on Saturday at 10 pm on India TV. The repeat telecasts will be done on Sunday at 10 am and 10 pm.