After snake video triggers panic, Telangana cops say man spread it to scare kids
A man who circulated rumours and triggered panic about a snake making human-like noises in Ramadugu, Telangana, has been identified by the police. The manipulated video had created a flutter among the residents of Ramadugu in Karimnagar district. The panic spread further after a Telugu TV news channel broadcasted the edited video as a ‘viral video’ on June 6, Sunday, effectively legitimising the unverified news.
According to the police, Srinivas, a native of Velichala village in Ramadugu, was fed up of children in the neighborhood playing cricket at his residence. Despite warning them several times, the children allegedly paid no heed to his appeals. Frustrated by this, he thought of scaring away the children by making them believe that a snake was lurking near his residence. As part of the plan, he downloaded a video, which had already been manipulated and uploaded by someone else, and circulated it on local WhatsApp groups with the fake claim that a snake making strange noises was lurking near the Nilgiri trees in Velichala.
“Srinivas downloaded the video from Share Chat mobile application and forwarded it to Velichala residents with a false claim. Preventing children from playing at his residence was his objective,” said Ramadugu Sub Inspector Tandra Vivek. The Sub Inspector added, “We did not file any case against him, but we have counselled him against sharing such fake information. The video created a lot of panic among the residents.”
Srinivas had claimed that he had shot the video of the snake. The police also urged others not to forward the misleading video.
According to fact-checking website Factly, the video was uploaded by someone identified as Mike Martin on YouTube. The snake has been identified as a ‘hognose’ snake, which is widely seen in the United States of America and Canada. These snakes are non-venomous and do not make such strange noises. The audio of the original video was tampered with by a user, and a fake noise was added to it.