The spiteful voice note that accompanied the photograph of 20-year-old Fathima* and her male friend claimed that the duo was planning to elope.

Her wedding cancelled due to WhatsApp fwd Kerala woman gets rumour monger arrestedImage for representation only
news Crime Sunday, April 08, 2018 - 16:46

A malicious WhatsApp forward led to a Kerala woman’s wedding being called off, after her fiance read and believed the fake message that was being circulated widely on the messaging app. The hoax message – a voice note accompanied by the photograph of the woman standing next to a male classmate – claimed that that duo was planning to elope.

The spiteful voice note that accompanied the photograph of 20-year-old Fathima* and her male friend claimed that the parents of the woman needed to be urgently informed, since the two of them were planning to run away. The fake message from Kerala soon reached other countries, and the man Fathima was supposed to get married to, who lives abroad, also got the message.

Fathima had been engaged to the man for a few months. When her fiance decided to call off the wedding on the basis of the hoax message, the young woman decided to track down the rumour monger.  

The college student from Aluva in Ernakulam district filed a complaint with the police last week.

On Saturday, Aluva East police arrested 35-year-old Shihab, a native of Chelakkulam in the district.

According to local media reports, he is member of the PDP, however police were not willing to confirm the same.

"Shihab found Fathima (who was wearing a head scarf) and her male friend standing at a bus stop in Aluva last week and clicked their photograph. He claims he thought she was someone he knew. He then circulated the message with an audio clip that they were a couple and that they were about to elope with each other,” the police confirmed.

“This particular message also reached Fathima's fiance and his family, following which they called off the wedding. After this, Fathima filed a complaint and with the help of the cyber cell, we traced Shihab," the police said.

Shihab has been booked under relevant sections of the IT Act.

*Name changed.

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