COVID-19: Maharashtra Police’s cyber unit registers 36 FIRs for spreading fake news

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Updated: March 29, 2020 1:02:11 PM

Superintendent of Police, Maharashtra Cyber, Balsingh Rajput said FIRs were particularly registered for spreading fake news about coronavirus.

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has instructed the police and cyber cell to initiate strict action against rumour-mongers and those circulating fake news about coronavirus. (PTI Photo)

Maharashtra Police’s cyber unit has registered 36 FIRs across the state against those spreading fake news about coronavirus on social media. State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh recently instructed the police and cyber cell to initiate strict action against rumour-mongers and those circulating fake news about coronavirus, so as to prevent fear among people about the pandemic.

As per the official figures, 20 FIRs have been registered for spreading fake news on WhatsApp, three for posting wrong information on Facebook, two for fake posts on Twitter and one against a Tik Tok user. Besides, 10 cases have been registered against users of other platforms.

The FIRs were registered after several complaints were received from citizens, Superintendent of Police, Maharashtra Cyber, Balsingh Rajput said. “These FIRs were particularly registered for spreading fake news about coronavirus by rumour-mongers,” he said.

Of the total FIRs, five each were registered by cyber police in Beed and Satara, four in Kolhapur, three each in Bhandara, Gondia and Nanded, two each in Pune rural, Ratnagiri and Solapur rural, and one each in Nagpur city, Akola, Chandrapur, Wardha, Solapur, Nashik rural and Sangli.

In an advisory issued to all police units recently, cyber unit’s Inspector General of Police Dilip Pandharpatte said, “Malicious elements are spreading fake news and vicious rumours regarding COVID-19 pandemic on on-line communication platforms including channels, internet and social media, causing panic and disturbing the public order in the state.”

It is the duty of every citizen to be responsible about what they share on social media, he added.

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