HM warns of action against those spreading rumours of army deployment in Mumbai

Anil Deshmukh

Mumbai : The Maharashtra minister for Home Anil Deshmukh on Thursday warned of action against those spreading rumours that army would be deployed in Mumbai and Pune during the lockdown period. Social media, particularly Whats Aap and Facebooks were flooded with such messages in recent past.

Days after the former Maharashtra Chief Minister and BJP leader Narayan Rane demanded the deployment of the Army in Mumbai and Pune, similar rumours in social media caused people in the two cities to buy groceries and vegetables in panic. “Entire Mumbai and Pune will be under Military lockdown for 10 days start from Saturday. So please stock everything such as Groceries, vegetables. Only milk and medicine will be available,” the message which went viral on social media said.

This had led to residents across Mumbai and Pune rushed to stock up groceries and vegetables after which police in many areas began enforcing social distancing, according to information shared on various social media forums.

On Thursday, Deshmukh clarified that the messages asking people to hoard maximum provisions like vegetables, grocery and milk due to ‘deployment of Army’ is completely fake. The spread of such rumours can attract penalties and punishment under the provisions of both the IT Act and the IPC, he said and warned those who are spreading such rumours.

According to him, an enquiry by the Cyber Department found that 12 main user IDs on various social media platforms have been spreading this rumour and fake news from May 8, till date. The state Cyber Department is looking closely at this issue and has already initiated action against the rumour-mongers, the Home Minister said.