Kerala: 7 arrested for spreading fake news about Nipah Virus

Messages alleging that the virus had been confirmed in new localities and was being transmitted from chickens began doing rounds on WhatsApp.
Kerala: 7 arrested for spreading fake news about Nipah Virus
Kerala: 7 arrested for spreading fake news about Nipah Virus
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Police officers from Kozhikode district’s Feroke municipality have arrested 5 people, while another 2 were arrested by police in the district’s Nallalam locality for forwarding fake news through WhatsApp about the spread of Nipah Virus.

Cases have been registered at police stations in 3 areas of Kozhikode district: Nadakkavu town and Nallalam and Feroke municipalities of which the arrests have been made in Nallalam and Feroke police stations.

Vaishnav, Nimesh, Bivij, Diljith, Vishnudas were arrested by Feroke police for forwarding a message which alleged that the Nipah virus had been found in the locality of Nallur in Kozhikode. The cops are attempting to trace the person who prepared the voice note.

Fazaluddien and Muhammad Fazil were arrested from the Nallalam locality.

Another probe is on to investigate yet another fake message being spread in the name of the Health Department, stating that the virus has been found in chickens, and to avoid consumption of the same.

An officer from Feroke police station told TNM, “We have arrested 5 people for spreading fake messages on WhatsApp. In Nallalam 2 more persons have been arrested. A Junior Health Inspector from Feroke Hospital lodged a complaint stating that fake messages were spreading about the staff under his jurisdiction having contracted Nipah and were being admitted to Kozhikode Medical College Hospital.”

Such fake messages have been doing rounds for some time now. Earlier, there were rumours afloat stating that HiLite Mall in Kozhikode’s Malabar region would be shutting down following the Nipah Virus outbreak.

“There was also a rumour that our mall would be closing because of the Nipah virus scare. We ensure that our staff and other workers are well informed about the situation, so when this rumour started to spread and we came to hear about it, we decided to tack it legally,” said mall staff, Shyam, to TNM.

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