Tuesday November 13, 2018
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NSCN-K declared terror outfit, talks unlikely

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New Delhi: More than a month after the government banned National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K) for continuously attacking the Indian armed forces in violation of the 14-year-old ceasefire, the Naga extremist group was on Monday declared a terrorist outfit under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

“This is a clear indication that there is never going to be any talks with NSCN-K. They were given time to return and enter into a ceasefire, but they did not,” a home ministry official told IANS.

NSCN-K, after violating the ceasefire, had formed a new umbrella group named United Liberation Front of Western South East Asia (UNLFW) with other northeast insurgent groups, which too has been declared a terror outfit.

“The government has declared the NSCN-K, all its formations and front organisations as a terrorist organisation under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967,” said the statement issued by the home ministry.

Meanwhile, speaking on the issue, NSCN-IM, with whom the government has signed the historic Naga Accord, told IANS: “It was completely on the government on how to deal with the issue.”

NSCN-K was banned by the government in mid-September, a few days after the government announced a cash price of Rs.17 lakh for the capture of the commander-in-chief and the chief of the faction, Niki Sumi and S.S. Khaplang, respectively.

Meanwhile, a few of the rebel leaders who have parted ways from Khaplang over ideological conflict told IANS: “Khaplang is digging his own grave. He should have entered into negotiation with the government. If he wants to fight for the Naga cause, of course, he needs to have the peace process with the government.”

S.S. Khaplang is the head of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang faction while Sumi, a resident of Zhunehboto in Nagaland, is in charge of the armed wing of the group.

The latest development has come a day after four cadres of the NSCN (Khole-Kitovi) faction were killed by Assam Rifles personnel, who apparently mistook them for NSCN-K cadres.

Following that, the armed forces have issued notice to every faction of NSCN observing ceasefire with the government not to roam around carrying arms.

However, if there was any such movement planned, the security forces need to be informed.

NSCN-K came into existence in 1988 and is active along the India-Myanmar border, according to a gazette notification issued on November 6.

NSCN-K has indulged in terrorism killing innocent civilians and security forces and engaged in other violent activities, including the June 4, 2015, attack on an army convoy in Chandel district of Manipur.

(IANS)

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Twitter Takes Multiple Steps To Curb Misinformation Before Elections in India

More than 80 per cent of the Twitter accounts linked to spread of disinformation

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Twitter, tweets, India
The Twitter logo appears on a phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.. VOA

Twitter is taking “multi-variable” steps, including the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, to curb the spread of misleading information on its platform ahead of 2019 general election in India, Co-Founder and CEO Jack Dorsey said here on Monday.

Addressing a Town Hall-style meeting at the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi (IIT-D), Dorsey said fake news is a way too big category.

“The real problem is not misinformation per se as jokes can also be categorised as misinfomation. But misinformation that is spread with the intent to mislead people is a real problem,” stressed the Twitter CEO who is in India on a week-long maiden visit.

Dorsey, who got a rousing reception at IIT-D with the students wildly cheering the young entrepreneur, likened solving the problem of misleading information to that of addressing a security issue, or building a lock.

Twitter, India
Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on foreign influence operations and their use of social media on Capitol Hill. VOA

“No one can build a perfect lock, but we need to stay ahead of our attackers. AI could probably help,” Dorsey told the audience.

Earlier in the day, the Twitter CEO met Congress President Rahul Gandhi and discussed various steps the social network was taking to curb the spread of fake news and boost healthy conversation on its platform.

Dorsey also met Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama over the weekend. He was also expected to meet Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in the wake of the growing criticism over Twitter’s role in the spread of misinformation and fake news as India faces Assembly polls in five states in November-December ahead of next year’s general elections.

Twitter, India
Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

Twitter, along with other social media platforms, including Facebook, came under intense scrutiny of policymakers in the US for their failure to stop the spread of misinformation by Russia-linked accounts on their platforms during the 2016 Presidential election.

The micro-blogging site since then has stepped up its efforts to curb the spread of divisive messages and fake news on its platform.

To further protect the integrity of elections, Twitter recently announced that it would now delete fake accounts engaged in a variety of emergent, malicious behaviour.

India, elections
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses the gathering during the ‘Global Mobility Summit’ in New Delhi, India, VOA

As part of the new rules, accounts that deliberately mimic or are intended to replace accounts that were previously suspended for violating rules may be identified as fake accounts, Twitter said recently.

Also Read: Twitter Giving Its Users More Freedom to Report Fake, Suspicious Accounts

However, according to a Knight Foundation study released in October, more than 80 per cent of the Twitter accounts linked to spread of disinformation during the 2016 US election are still active. (IANS)