Man Arrested For Spreading False News About Lockdown On Social Media: Never Do This

A 55-year-old man from Dabhoi in Vadodara rural allegedly circulated a fake government circular announcing lockdown in six cities of Gujarat for a week on social media, post which he was arrested on Sunday.

The accused, identified as Javed Khatri was held by a team of Dabhoi police station on Sunday morning from his residence.

Javed works in fabrication. Sudhir Kumar Desai, Superintendent of Police, Vadodara rural said that he was arrested from his residence. However, the culprit behind the morphed government circular is yet to be found.

The Fake Circular Stating Complete Lockdown

On April 9 a fake circular, bearing the name and signature of Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) of Home Department, Pankaj Kumar surfaced online which falsely stated that in the light of rising number of Covid-19 patients, a complete lockdown will be announced in the six of cities, namely, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot, Surat, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar- from April 11 to April 17 as night curfew is not enough to curtail the spread of the virus.

The fake circular stated that for time being, only emergency services will be allowed to continue in the period. It stated that the permission of respective collectors shall be required for those who intend to enter the six cities.

On April 9, the Home Department of Gujarat government published a statement which said that the letter which has been circulated is fake and the public should not be misled by it.

Currently both minister of state (MOS) Home Pradipsinh Jadeja and ACS Pankaj Kumar are down with coronavirus.

Investigation On The Matter Initiated

An investigation into this matter was given to the state cyber-crime cell after the Gujarat Director General of Police Ashish Bhatia initiated the same after the state government asked about the surfacing of the fake letter.

Javed, the accused, has been booked under the Section 54 of the Disaster Management Act for false warning. Javed said that he received the circular on his phone, which then he went on to share on social media. However, it was found out that it was through the FB profile that the fake circular was first shared.

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