An FIR has been filed against Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb, alleging he was spreading rumours and fake news on COVID-19.
The FIR was lodged by senior Congress leader Gopal Roy in NCC PS, Agartala under IPC-182, 505 (1)(b) for spreading fake news on COVID-19 outbreak in Northeast India, which has created massive panic among locals for last 2 days.
The Chief Minister allegedly misled local media when he told them at GB hospital in Agartala on April 2 that sixteen people had reported COVID-19 positive in Karimganj and 19 in Manipur.
But in reality, in Manipur, there were only 2 cases whereas in the whole of Assam 16 positive cases were reported till Thursday.
After filing the FIR, Gopal Roy told mediapersons that Deb’s exaggerated version of COVID-19 outbreak in Assam and Manipur, there was huge panic in Tripura.
“Within a day of Deb’s erroneous statement, a massive panic was generated across Tripura. People from Dharmanagar, Kailashahar, Belonia started calling me in large numbers, which showed the level of panic among the people,” Gopal Roy said.
“This was totally unnecessary and unwanted and also unfortunate. We don’t expect such an irresponsible statement from a Chief Minister,” Congress leader and lawyer Gopal Roy told mediapersons.
“CM is regular with controversies but right now, the situation is very critical. Yesterday, one 70 year old man called me saying, whether he will die in view of massive outbreak in Karimganj. Thus, I was compelled to file an FIR to the NCC PS under section 182 and 505 (1)(b) against him. Because, if an important office holder is spreading rumours like this, it affects the situation. The statement must be truthful and valid,” said Gopal Roy.
Addressing the media, CM Biplab Deb said, “In our neighbouring Karimganj, total 16 cases have been found positive and total 19 cases were recorded in Manipur and that’s why we have sealed the borders”.
This video massively spread in social media and also created tension.
Biplab Deb’s statement comes at a time when Union Home Ministry has ordered to arrest spreading fake data on COVID-19.
Before this, the Tripura Chief Minister on March 27 asked people to use wet Gamocha (local towel) instead of mask, which also created controversy.