Karnataka

Shobha Karandlaje trolled for tweeting fake news

Shobha Karandlaje, MP and former Minister, was trolled on social media for tweeting a fake news story about COVID positive cases misbehaving in the district hospital in Belagavi on Monday.

She had claimed that three Tabligh attendees were spitting and misbehaving with hospital staff, and dancing and gesturing indecently. She also attached a video clip purportedly showing such actions, and questioned the organisation’s intentions.

This is despite the fact that Deputy Commissioner S.B. Bommanahalli had denied the veracity of the video, saying it was full of falsehoods. He had directed the city Police Commissioner to book cases and investigate into the origins of the video. He had also asked the police to investigate another viral audio clip.

On Monday, the city police arrested a person who had created the false video and audio clips. A team used clues in the clips to trace down the accused, Mohammad Arif Hamza Bidikar. He had created the false video to spread fear among the community that the patients were being neglected and that they had been picked despite COVID tests proving negative.

The MP had also got her facts wrong. She said that of the 70 persons who had attended the Tabligh event from Belagavi, eight had tested positive. The DC had told the district in-charge Minister Jagadish Shettar on Sunday that 96 persons had attended the meeting and seven had tested positive.

Vinay Bastikopp, director, Belagavi Institute of Medical Sciences, the designated COVID hospital, has clarified that the patients were in an isolation wing of the hospital and that allegations that they were roaming around or misbehaving were not true.

Ms. Karandlaje’s tweet was re-tweeted by many of her followers. But she was trolled and accused of spreading hate and misinformation.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 3:21:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/shobha-karandlaje-trolled-for-tweeting-fake-news/article31278148.ece

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