As the entire country comes together in solidarity and togetherness to fight coronavirus, fake messages amidst the lockdown are being checked by authorities with an eagle eye. In such an incident on Monday, Kolkata Police has cracked the whip on fake news being circulated surrounding the COVID-19 alert by a lady. She was arrested on Monday for circulating fake information on a WhatsApp group for stating that there were 15 COVID-19 cases in New Alipore area. She also stated that the government was trying to hide facts.
“New Alipore area has become a hot spot for corona. 15 cases have been in block P and 2 in my lane. Please be careful everyone", read her WhatsApp message in a public group.
The Police received information on Sunday morning and tried to trace the lady on the basis of the information on the WhatsApp group. The message was sent on a WhatsApp group called ‘Smart Juniors’ and her name reflected as ‘Pallavi Kangaroo kids’. Kangaroo Kids is a Montessori school in New Alipore area which has been closed for quite sometime now, after the Coronavirus alert. Later, she was traced to Behala area and when questioned, she had no valid reason to support her theory and apologised. The accused has been charged under section 505(1)(b) of the IPC, that deals with intent to cause fear or alarm among the public.
This shocking story of misinformation came across at a time when West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has reiterated that people spreading fake information will not be spared. She had instructed the police to identify such persons spreading information on WhatsApp and other social media platforms and take them to task.