The youth has been identified as 19-year-old Ashwin Babu, who is a native of Nemmara in Palakkad district.

Kerala teen who spread fake message about cracks in Mullaperiyar dam arrested
news Mullaperiyar Dam Tuesday, August 21, 2018 - 14:17

Kerala police have arrested the youth who spread fake news on social media about Mullaperiyar dam developing cracks.  

The youth has been identified as 19-year-old Ashwin Babu, who is a native of Nemmara in Palakkad district.

He was arrested and his phone had been confiscated.

Speaking to TNM, a police official who did not wish to be named, confirmed that the youth had been arrested but is out on bail now.

The official said that the youth had received the fake message on WhatsApp and had forwarded it to several others. However, the original source of the message is yet to be ascertained.

Police said that investigations are ongoing.

In a voice message which was spread, it said that one side of the Mullaperiyar Dam had collapsed.

When the voice message started spreading, it caused panic among the people. Following this, the government intervened and clarified that this is a fake message.

On August 15, rumours first surfaced that the Mullaperiyar dam, which had reached the Full Reservoir Level of 142 feet, had developed cracks. This had sent people living in Idukki district as well as those living downstream of the Periyar river, into a tizzy.

The Kerala government had then issued a warning to such rumour-mongers.

In a letter written by the Secretary to Kerala Government (Water resources) to the Director General of Police (DGP) Loknath Behera, the government asked the Police Cyber Cell to trace the source of such rumours and take action. 

"Rumours are being spread in social media like WhatsApp, Facebook etc. that the Mullaperiyar Dam has developed some cracks. This rumour is completely baseless and the Dam has not developed any cracks as alleged. These rumours are creating unnecessary panic among people living downstream in the Periyar catchment. The Cyber Cell is directed to trace the source of these rumours and take immediate action against the rumour mongers," read the letter. 

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