After restricting the use of SMSes in the wake of trouble in North East State of Assam, the government today increased the SMS limit per day from five to 20 with immediate effect, according to a notification issued by the Ministry of Communication. From today onwards, the mobile customers in the country, which is more than 930 million, can send a maximum to 20 SMSes in one go and more than 25 KB of data through mobile phones during the ban period.
Mobile users were restricted to sending only 5 SMS-es per day from last Saturday to check spread of rumours and inflammatory messages, which fuelled panic among people from the North-East, and which had led to mass exodus of northeastern people from certain states. To add fuel to the fire, social networking sites like Facebook, You Tube and Twitter were also reportedly used to circulate morphed images.
“We have banned bulk SMS-es and MMS-es for 15 days,” Union Home Secretary RK Singh had said last week. Along with the restrictions on SMSes and MMS-es, hundreds of web pages have been banned by the government since last week.
The government has increased the limit keeping in view of the fact that the situation in Assam is fast returning to normal and majority of Indian citizens of North East have started returning to their places of work and studies. But this incident should be eye openers to all the citizens that they should not fall in the trap of rumour-mongers and in the event of receiving the hate content, they should immedaitely report the matter to the police and help the authorities to nab the culprits as early as possible before considerable damage is done. It is also the duty of social networking sites and telecom operators to prevent spreading of hate content.