A message claiming that the cities of Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Howrah, Ahmedabad, Surat and Indore might be under strict military lockdown for a period of 10 days starting from Sunday, 31 May, after the end of Lockdown 4.0 is going viral on social media.
However, The Quint found that there is no truth to this claim and that there is no military lockdown in place in either of these cities.
The message claims that in view of this “military lockdown” in these cities, people should stock up on everything, with special emphasis on groceries and vegetables. It also goes on to say that “cities can be handed over to military” and that “only milk and medicines will be allowed.”
It adds that central government meetings are going on and a total shut down is expected to be announced anytime.
We found many people sharing the message on Facebook.
The Quint also received queries about the veracity of the message from its readers on our WhatsApp helpline number.
WHAT’S THE TRUTH?
First off, the MHA guidelines issued on Saturday, 30 May, for the stage after Lockdown 4.0, named ‘Unlock 1’, actually lifts many of the remaining restrictions on cities across India. Restrictions were only to continue in containment zones as demarcated by district authorities.
From 01.06.2020— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) May 30, 2020
●Within Containment Zones, #Lockdown restrictions to continue till 30.06.2020
●#Unlock1 All activities to be relaxed in phased manner outside containment zones, as per @MoHFW_INDIA guidelines
●States may impose restrictions/prohibit activities as per assessment pic.twitter.com/LDbmvf6Gfa
The order nowhere mentions that any of the cities – Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad or Indore, were to go under a military lockdown from 31 May, as the viral message claims.
In fact, the guidelines allow for a phased reopening from 1 June, with more restrictions lifted from 8 June.
Further, the Mumbai Police took to Twitter to call out a variation of the message which only mentioned Mumbai and Pune, as fake.
The attached message is fake but being widely circulated. If it reaches you, break the chain & do not forward. All essential supplies will be available & movement permitted only as per lockdown guidelines. #FakeMessageAlert pic.twitter.com/K5BLN7UN6h— Mumbai Police (@MumbaiPolice) May 26, 2020
Previously, The Quint has debunked a similar message which claimed that Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was calling in the army.
The Quint further reached out to the Ahmedabad Police PRO, which said that there was no such military lockdown in place and that normal public life was underway, calling it a wrong message.
It is clear that a fake message is being circulated with claims about a military lockdown in some cities in India taking place post the end of Lockdown 4.0.
We tried reaching out to Kolkata Police but haven’t received any response. This story will be updated if and when we receive a response.
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