Kerala police has registered a case against a 40-year-old man for allegedly posting fake news through social media on the deadly Nipah virus infections in the state.
Police registered a case last night against Koyilandi resident Anil Kumar, a newspaper agent.
”He had circulated fake news through social media in connection with Nipah. In the post, he claimed that Nipah was a fake narrative created by pharma companies,” a senior police official said.
Police added that as the post became viral and people started complaining, he deleted it.
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A case under Section 505 (1) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and relevant provisions under the Kerala Police Act among others have been invoked. The accused was summoned to the police station, served notice and let off, police said. Section 505 (1) of the IPC deals with the offence of creating rumours which are likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public.
According to the complaint, the accused had in a social media post claimed that Nipah virus, which has so far claimed two lives and has infected four others in the state, was a ”narrative” created by pharma companies.
The state government and the police had earlier warned the public not to spread fake news about the Nipah outbreak.
A 39-year-old man has tested positive for the Nipah virus today taking the number of active cases in the state to four. With this, the total number of people infected with the virus in the state went up to six, of which two persons had died earlier.
This is the fourth time the viral infection has been confirmed in the state. It was detected in Kozhikode in 2018 and 2021 and in Ernakulam in 2019.