A wire service photograph showing Pakistanis celebrating Pakistan Independence Day in Hyderabad (Sind) with their national flag is being mischievously portrayed in a chain email message as Muslims in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, waving the Pakistani flag.”

Weaving fiction with fact, the email then details attempts by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to disrupt an India-Pakistan friendship programme organised in the city by an NGO, the Confederation of Voluntary Associations (COVA), under the pretext that the Pakistani flag would be hoisted. In fact, no flags were hoisted there.

The email, coming in the wake of the Centre blaming Pakistan-based elements for uploading objectionable content on the Internet that painted an exaggerated picture of the violence in Assam, suggests the spreading of digital disinformation with a view to inciting religious hatred has become something of a free-for-all on this side of the border as well.

Showing Pakistan flags being waved by joyous “Indian Muslim” youth, the email with the subject ‘Muslim celebration Pakistan Independence Day in Andhra Pradesh – Hyderabad Congress Control,’ wondered why the Congress governments at the Centre and in the State could not prevent it.

A senior retired Indian Army officer, who received the mail, forwarded it to the Prime Minister’s Office, demanding a thorough probe.

However, enquiries by The Hindu revealed that the A.P. police were unaware of the mail. “We have absolutely no information about these emails,” said DCP (Central) Tarun Joshi. The Cyber Crime police too had no clue about them.

The mail with the misrepresented photograph cited a link to the url - http://www.indiandefence.com/forums/social-political-issues/21221-pakistans-independence-day-celebrations-india.html - and said “Congress Control Andhra Pradesh permits Muslims to celebrate Pakistan 65th Independence Day in Andhra Pradesh-Hyderabad. Which country in the world has a history of such shameless act and will permit this treasonable act. No country has ever been insulted like this on Independence Day.”

“What evidence we need more to believe that India being ruled by Congress cowards and ‘chamchas’ of Pakistan and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has given enough proof to be called as ‘….. [invectives used]. Please circulate this widely if you care for India,” the email said.