Three from Telangana held for spreading fake news about COVID 19 on WhatsApp

Hyderabad: Cracking whip, police have arrested three persons for spreading fake news about Coronavirus in Yadadri Bhongir district of Telangana.

The trio had shared a message on WhatsApp groups, which soon became viral, creating panic among the people of the district.

Sources said one of the three accused had shared a message on WhatsApp saying that one person from Bhongir town has been affected by coronavirus. He also said the patient has been shifted to Gandhi hospital at Hyderabad.

“But doctors at Gandhi hospital did not admit him or even provided basic treatment, resulting in his death”, he said in the message.

Later, the accused said the deceased is being brought to Bhongir for final rites.

The message soon became viral and there was panic in the district. Police officials immediately swung into action and started the investigation.

The arrest comes a day after the government invoked Section 54 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, to prevent rumor-mongering and fake news. Section 54 of the Act says whoever makes or circulates a false alarm or warning as to disaster or its severity or magnitude, leading to panic, shall on conviction, be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to one year or with fine.

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