Aizawl: At least two persons, aged about 60-62 years, have been arrested for spreading fake news about coronavirus, a senior police officer said on Sunday.
Mizoram Inspector General of Police (headquarters) John Neihlaia said that a fake news about a new confirmed case of coronavirus being detected was widely circulated on WhatsApp groups recently.
The fake news claimed that the the co-passenger of a person, who tested positive recently, was found infected with coronavirus. The new infected person belongs to Bualpui village near Haulawng in Lunglei district, the fake news said.
The fake news was first posted by a 62-year-old man from South Chawngtui village in Hnahthial district in a WhatsAppp group called ‘Runtlang Hraichawi’. He was a leader of local level task force on COVID-19 and member of South Chawngtui branch of Young Mizo Association, according to Neihlaia.
He was arrested on Saturday and was booked under section 41 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), he said.
Another man, aged 60, from the same village, who spread the same fake news was also arrested on Saturday after taking cognizance from Lunglei chief judicial magistrate Neihlaia said.
He was booked under Section 505 (1) (b) of the IPC.
So far, the state police have arrested more than 18 people for spreading rumours about coronavirus.
Earlier, 15 people were arrested in connection with three cases registered by the police over fake news related to coronavirus between February 9 and 13.
After this, a person was also arrested for issuing fake circular in the name of chief secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo warning the Mizos, who stayed in different parts of the country, to come home lest they would be declared non-Mizos.
A 33- year-old woman was also arrested on March 24 for hiding her travel history.
The woman returned from Macau on March 10 and soon her arrival at Lenpui airport she lied to the authority claiming she came from Kolkata, according to the police.