Three held in Telangana for spreading false news on Covid-19

 Telangana | Written by : IANS Updated: Tue, Mar 17, 2020, 12:19 PM

Hyderabad, March (IANS) Telangana Police on Monday arrested three persons and booked a fourth man for spreading fake news about coronavirus on social media.

Three people including a WhatsApp group admin were arrested in Yadadri Bhongir district. Police said they spread false news on the social platforms by forwarding a fake picture.

One of the accused allegedly downloaded a picture of a patient lying on a hospital bed, edited it and claimed that a man hailing from the district died of coronavirus in Hyderabad's Gandhi Hospital.

Police said the accused forwarded the picture, thereby creating panic among people. They were booked under the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897 for spreading false information and rumours.

Meanwhile, Rachakonda police on the outskirts of Hyderabad on Monday booked an unidentified person for allegedly spreading rumours about coronavirus. The man shared a message on WhatsApp claiming that three persons from the area tested positive for Covid-19. As the message went viral and triggered panic, police launched an inquiry and found that it was false information.

A case against the accused was registered under National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Act at Chaitanyapuri police station. Police were trying to track the accused and arrest him.

Police have warned that those spreading false news and rumours on coronavirus may be jailed up to one year.

According to police, those who are spreading false information on social media and creating panic on coronavirus were liable for one year imprisonment under NDMA Act.

At a review meeting with top officials on Monday, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar warned that stringent action would be taken against those spreading false news.