Other States

No Army deployment in Mumbai, Pune: Anil Deshmukh

Home Minister rubbishes messages shared on social media, warns strict action against rumour-mongers

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Thursday said strict action will be taken against people creating panic in the State by spreading rumours on social media of the Army being deployed in Mumbai and Pune.

Mr. Deshmukh clarified that the rumours were “wholly and completely fake news”. He said, “First of all, I want to underline that as Home Minister I am fully confident of the Maharashtra Police’s wherewithal and capabilities in tackling any emergency. I exhort citizens not to believe such messages or share them as this unnecessarily creates panic in society. The State government is committed to its battle against COVID-19 and has been open in its communication with citizens on policy decisions with regard to combating the pandemic.”

The Home Minister warned rumour-mongers of penalties and punishment under provisions of the Information Technology Act and the Indian Penal Code. Mr. Deshmukh said, “The Maharashtra Cyber Department is looking closely at this issue and has initiated action against rumour-mongers.”

Mr. Deshmukh said miscreants are running a concerted campaign to create fake news and spread rumours across social media platforms to create a sense of panic and dissatisfaction among people. “One of the more worrying rumours that has been spread even while India is in the grip of one of its worst public health emergencies due to the pandemic is about enforcing a complete lockdown in Mumbai and other cities by deploying the Army,” he said. The messages also asked people to hoard provisions like vegetables, grocery and milk.

12 offenders identified

An inquiry by the Maharashtra Cyber Department found that 12 prominent user IDs on social media platforms have been spreading the rumours and fake news since May 8. Notices in the the form of a legal warning have been issued to these users under Section 149 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The platforms have been asked to take down these posts and suspend the accounts of the errant users.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 12:49:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/no-army-deployment-in-mumbai-pune-anil-deshmukh/article31693418.ece

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