"Social networking sites are being used to spread rumours," Patil said, adding he had directed police officials to ensure safety of students from North East. "We are requesting the central government in helping shut down social networking sites found involved in spreading rumours," Patil said. "I have asked police to set aside routine work if need be and concentrate on providing security to people from North East who live in Maharashtra," he said.
Thirteen persons had been arrested in connection with a couple of incidents of attacks on students or others from North East, he said. "I spoke to the Home Minister of Manipur and assured him that our government will take all measures to ensure that people from North East are safe in Maharashtra," Patil said.
In Nashik, where there were reports of people from the North East rushing back to their home states, the Police Commissioner had held a meeting and assured them of safety, he said.
Police were trying hard to remove fear from the minds of students from the North East, the Home Minister added. There had been incidents of students from the region being attacked in Pune last week.
Pune police said doctored videos of violence in Assam were circulating on internet and through mobile phones and they were trying to approach Google and Facebook in this regard.
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had said students from North East would be given protection and he had talked to state DGP in this regard.