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FIR filed for ‘false news’ on COVID cases in Kanpur shelter home

A First Information Report (FIR) has been registered against unidentified persons on the charge of circulating incorrect and misleading information that some pregnant girl inmates of a government shelter home in Kanpur were diagnosed with HIV.

The action comes amid Opposition demands that the government probe how 57 girls of the home, including five pregnant girls, were infected with COVID-19.

In his complaint lodged with the Swarup Nagar police station, Kanpur District Probation Officer Ajit Kumar said that reports had been circulated since June 21, without any authorised statement, that two girls at the centre were eight-month pregnant and diagnosed with HIV.

He clarified that the five pregnant girls at the home were victims of sexual violence and had arrived at the home pregnant. Every inmate goes through a pregnancy test before admission, he said.

The FIR was filed late on Tuesday under Sections 188, 505 and 288-A of the IPC, Section 23 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, Section 74 of the Juvenile Justice Act and Section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act.

Without naming any media group or individual, Mr. Kumar said that by broadcasting fake and misleading information and revealing the location of the sexual crime victims, a “deliberate” attempt was being made to hurt their “honour and prestige” and taint the image of the administration.

Asked by The Hindu why no person was named, he said it was for the police to figure out. He said the medical department was probing how the 57 inmates were infected with COVID-19.

The district administration on Sunday admitted that 57 girls of the home were found positive for COVID-19 but clarified that five girls among them were recorded as pregnant at the time of arrival. The girls were brought to the shelter home at the recommendations of the child welfare committees.

The Women and Child Development Department asked the centres having more inmates than their capacity to shift them to an alternative building.

Department Director Manoj Kumar Rai said that at the 67 centres run by it, 3,963 inmates were living against the capacity of 3,675. Among them were 257 women and girls who were victims of sexual crimes, and 20 of them were pregnant, he said.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 7:29:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/fir-filed-for-false-news-on-covid-cases-in-kanpur-shelter-home/article31909673.ece

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