Hyderabad: A WhatsApp message that claims to be sent by the police that requests citizens to be responsible by "following traffic rules and being proactive in protecting ourselves and our belongings" has gone viral.
The text consists of 22 points that would help a citizen be safe and also states that it should be followed for at least three months or till the lockdown completely lifted. A part of the message has been saved and attached below.
The viral message was not issued by the police.
NewsMeter reached out to Sikha Goel, Additional Commissioner of Police (Crimes), Hyderabad and received clarification that this message was not issued by the Hyderabad police.
It should be noted that the message is simply signed "police dept" and has no name of a specific officer or signature and neither does it mention the city police department's name. It also has a number of spelling and grammatical errors. An official notice by the police would mention all details and wouldn't contain grammatical errors.
This same message was viral in May 2020 and netizens circulated it with the claim that the message was sent out by the Bengaluru police while some other WhatsApp users claimed it was created by the Mumbai police. This was proved false in both cases as well. Both the city police departments clarified that the message was not issued by them. The same was also debunked by the Free Press Journal and Fact Hunt.
Hence, it is clear that the viral WhatsApp message is fake and is not issued by the police.