A 42-year-old man was arrested for allegedly spreading fake news on Facebook, a police statement said on Wednesday.

The statement said that on May 17 a 42-year –old person from Sairang near Aizawl made a Facebook post regarding the returnees to the state.

“Is it true that some Mizos who returned the day before yesterday from outside the state sneaked away on their way back and that the government does not have all their names, addresses, phone nos.? Some could even name those who harboured and covered for them,” he wrote.

The message which was posted on `ZORAM POLITICS GROUP-I’ had led to panic and distress among the general public when the screenshot of the post was widely circulated on various WhatsApp groups, it said.

On being interrogated, the man confessed that his post was purely based on hearsay and did not even verify whether it was true or not and believed those persons mentioned in the posts may mistakenly be taken as the ones cleared for community quarantine facility of home quarantine.

A criminal case has been registered against the accused of offences committed under section 58 of the disaster management act, 2005 and section 505 (1) (b) of the IPC.

The police statement also said that all the stranded people, who returned to the state, were first sent to government-designated quarantine facilities after which those who only obtained permission from competent authority were sent for either community or home quarantine.

The statement further cautioned people against the posting of fake news or rumours on social media, which can create panic and fear among the general public as it is a serious issue which could invite legal action.

Earlier on Monday, a 33-year-old resident of Bungkawn in Aizawl was arrested for posting fake news on Facebook.

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