Maharashtra: Man arrested for spreading rumour about doctor afflicted with COVID-19

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coronavirus, coronavirus outbreak, coronavirus fake news, coronavirus news, mumbai police, indian express news
coronavirus, coronavirus outbreak, coronavirus fake news, coronavirus news, mumbai police, indian express news

A complaint was registered against him after the residents of the housing society, where the doctor resides, raised concerns fearing social stigma. (Representational Photo)

DN NAGAR police Friday arrested a 45-year-old man for allegedly spreading a rumour that a doctor had been died after he was found positive for novel coronavirus. Police said the accused had posted the message on a WhatsApp group, which was then vigorously shared by several others.

A complaint was registered against him after the residents of the housing society, where the doctor resides, raised concerns fearing social stigma.

On March 24, the doctor, his wife and son were diagnosed positive for COVID-19 and were admitted to a private hospital in Andheri. A day later, the secretary and residents of the housing society reportedly started getting calls from locals inquiring if the doctor had succumbed to coronavirus disease, police said.

“After the secretary received several calls in the matter, he consulted with the other residents of the housing society, who informed him that they too had received similar queries,” said an officer from DN Nagar police station. The secretary later found that a message was being circulated in WhatsApp group stating that the doctor had died after he was tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.

“The secretary contacted a woman who had shared the message in one such group, who told him that a person, identified as Sanjay Gandhi, had posted that message in another WhatsApp group,” the police officer said.

They came to the police station and registered a case under section 505 (2) of the Indian Penal Code, following which Gandhi was traced through his mobile phone number.

Parmeshwar Ganame, senior police inspector of DN Nagar police station, said, “We have arrested Gandhi. In his statement, he alleged that he got the message from another person and we are trying to trace him.” Gandhi has been released on bail.