Amaravati: A criminal case has been registered against former Chief Minister and TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu for creating panic over N440K strain of the coronavirus.

The Guntur Urban police have registered a case under sections 188, 505 (1) B, and 505 (2) of the Indian Penal Code and section 54 of the Disaster Management Act 2005. It is pertinent to note that this is the second case booked against the leader.

The cops were acting on a complaint filed by P. Anil Kumar who had alleged that the TDP chief and his party representatives, during a media interaction, had said the new N440K variant of coronavirus originated in AP and that it is 15 times more dangerous. "This has created panic nationwide," he had added.

It is to be noted that earlier this week, a few news organizations had reported that the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, had discovered that a new variant of the coronavirus, N440K, was responsible for the surge in cases in Vizag and other parts of Andhra Pradesh. The reports had further claimed that the new strain which was being called the AP strain was at least 15 times more virulent than the earlier ones.

On 6 May, the Andhra Pradesh government had issued a clarification saying there was no data to suggest that N440K is a variant of interest and is very virulent. It had said that N440K strain of coronavirus (B.1.36) was detected in June-July last year from samples collected from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana.

Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh police chief Damodar Gautam Sawang has warned people against false propaganda on social media and said action will be taken against those found spreading misinformation.

"In these disturbing times, misinformation and rumors are being propagated especially through social media. Please do not believe and spread such messages without verifying them. Those who propagate such misinformation will face consequences as per law," he said.

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