The Cyber Cell of Maharashtra has registered more than 100 First Information Reports (FIRs) against people who have spread fake news and even hat speech in the state during the lockdown.
In the last 24 hours alone as many as 13 FIRs were registered.
Not just this, there have been cases where people have been trying to con others during the lockdown period by luring them with fake messages. For instance, there have been reports of various messages which have been circulated by con-men about fake recharges and even of that the government are offering benefits for those people who have faced unemployment amid the Coronavirus lockdown.
The Superintendent of Police (SP), Cyber in Maharashtra, Balsingh Rajput confirmed that there have been several cases where fake messages were being circulated over Social Media platforms which created panic amongst the populace.
The Maharashtra government also came out and released an advisory to warn the people of the state against spreading fake news and rumours and also asked others to stay wary of the same. The advisory talked about DOs and DON’Ts as well.
As of now, 18 people have been arrested in such cases.
Beed district has been the epicentre so far with as many as 15 such instances coming for there. Pune rural has 11 and Satara and Jalgaon have 7 each.
Rajput said that in last 4 days, “there has been an increase in hate speech and communal crimes over social media. WhatsApp and Facebook are mostly used for these activities”.
Out of all the cases registered so far pertaining to the lockdown period, two have been non-cognisable. The gravity of the matter can be gauged from the fact that the Cyber Security cell is ready to take serious actions against the offenders.
The cyber cell has been urging the people of the state to refrain from sharing any unverified news as it would only lead to panic and affect groups and individuals along with creating problems for the authorities in containing the COVID-19.
A report from the State Home Department said, “FIRs have been registered by Maharashtra Cyber department during the lockdown period for spreading misinformation and for spreading communal/ casteist hatred on social media”.