06/08/2007, 00.00
INDIA
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Hindu extremists trying to censure Mumbai cybercafés

by Smitha Patankar
Fundamentalist students write to cybercafés demanding they stop access to orkut.com, an online community they consider defamatory. If their demand is not met they are prepared to use force.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Students from the Hindu extremist Bharatiya Vidyarthi Sena (BVS) have sent a letter to Mumbai internet cafes ordering them to block orkut.com, an online community which they believe defamed Chhatrapati Shivaji, a Hindu hero, and Bal Thackeray, head of a Hindu nationalist party, the Shiv Sena (SS).

Last Sunday SS militants stormed two cybercafés in the Mumbai suburb of Kalyan, attacking owners and clients alike. Following the incidents in Kaylan, some cybercafés blocked orkut.com.

In their letter to other cybercafés they threatened to repeat the action saying that if they did not ban the site, they would respond in their “own way”.

The online community is host to a group calling itself ‘I hate Shiv Sena’.

On Tuesday police called on cybercafés to discourage access to orkut.com.

The BVS said it is also preparing, with the help of its own information technology experts, software that blocks unwanted sites.

This software will be sent to internet service providers so that they can take quick action. The latter however stated that they will have to “check the legal implications of installing such software. A final call in this regard would have to be taken by the Department of Telecommunications.”

The BVS has also written to Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam to show him how the software works.

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