Hyderabad: City Cyber Crime police have arrested a 48-year-old Chartered Accountant (CA) of Karvy & Co for circulating fake government order (GO) about lockdown in Telangana.

The accused has been identified as Sreepathi Sanjeev Kumar. Police sources said the accused had circulated fake GO No 45, dated April 1, 2021. It stated Chief Secretary of the Telangana government had issued the order calling for partial lockdown. The unsigned order had asked all shops and commercial establishments to remain closed from 6 pm to 8 am till April 30.

Police registered the case under section 469 (intending that the document or electronic record forged), 505(1) (b) [with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public] of IPC at Cyber Crimes Police Station.

Telangana government released a statement clarifying that the GO was fake. In a statement, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar said no such order had been issued, and the government was not considering a lockdown.

"It has come to the notice of the government that an unsigned document claiming to be a GO issued on 1st April 2021 providing for the closure of shops and commercial establishments etc. is circulating on social media. It is hereby clarified that the said document is fake. No such order has been issued by the Government of Telangana," Somesh Kumar said in the statement.

According to police, the accused Sreepathi Sanjeev Kumar, a resident of Madhapur downloaded the previous GO No 45 of the Telangana Government, on his laptop. "Later he forged the GO by changing the dates of lockdown from 2020 to 2021. Through WhatsApp, he circulated PDF format of fake GO on his badminton group consisting of 40 members," said the police.

Later the group members circulated the fake GO to some of their known and unknown persons through WhatsApp.

Panic gripped the people as they assumed that it was an original GO issued by the Government of Telangana.

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