Two FIRs were filed against unknown persons for circulating fake news related to COVID-19 positive cases.
Both the FIRs were filed on Thursday by B. S. Sohliya, the director of information and public relations at the Cyber Crime Police Station in Shillong.
The first FIR was lodged against unknown person(s) for propagating fake news that “some officials from Secretariat and NIC have been tested positive for COVID-19,” and “in Nongmensong 4 (four) people have tested positive including one who worksin the wine store at Demseiñïong petrol pump.
There are others and spread through social contacts is possible.
Be careful, don’t associate with friends who have returned from anywhere.”
The other complaint was lodged against the handler of a facebook page ‘Lakewoods Eco Camp’ as the handler had uploaded two fake news regarding containment zones in Meghalaya.
In one of the posts, it was mentioned that ‘one small locality in Nongmensong is containment zone, public needs details?
Transparency please, and in the other post, it was mentioned that “two containment zones already Umsamlem Nongmensong for contact tracing procedures Public demands transparency now??”
Meanwhile, Assistant Inspector General of Police (A) G. K. Ïangrai said that in connection with the above fake news, two separate cases have been registered at Cyber Crime PS under relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code and under the Disaster Management Act.
“The department once again requests the netizens to kindly refrain from uploading or circulating information without verifying the authenticity of the information, as strict action will be taken as per law,” the police officer said.
An owner of a Petrol Pump and Wine Shop at Urkaliar, Demseiñïong also clarified on Thursday that
none of the staff has been tested COVID-19 positive, and urged the concerned department to trace the original source of such fake news.
Reacting to fake news circulated on social media, proprietor of M/S Kre Jingim Lina Service Station
Urkaliar, Khamtilin Massar said in a statement,
“As one of the Petrol Pump and Wine shop owners, I do hereby clarify that none of my staff has been tested positive for COVID-19. It is also learnt that the two persons who tested positive from Nongmensong are returnees from Delhi as reflected in the news.”
Massar also urged police to trace the original source of such forwarded fake news that has created unnecessary panic among the general public