Gangtok: A piece of fake news concerning Sikkim reinforcing the lockdown went viral in Sikkim. The post, initially shared by a Facebook page named ‘Khash Khabar’, showed Jacob Khaling, the Political Secretary to the Chief Minister, speaking about the lockdown imposition from March 25 to 31. Soon, the video generated quite a rage with as many as 50 shares after upload.
Netizens, however, quickly identified that the video was a year old and was related to the March 2020 lockdown.
Even one of the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha party’s Facebook page fell victim to the fake news and shared it without prior confirmation.
Speaking with EastMojo, Health Department official Sonam Bhutia clarified that no such decision or notification was issued either by the Health Department or the State Home Department. “When such misinformation is circulated, it is concerning. We hope that the State Home Department issues a statement on the same, and how the government may consider booking such individuals spreading fake news, and creating panic. Our phones have been buzzing all morning, with the general query being is it true or fake and whether there is a consideration for a lockdown.”
Elsewhere, Khaling stated, “We are looking into the matter for now, whether the assailants must be booked or not is a matter of discussion for now. We will come forth with a proper statement later today”.
Sikkim Police DIG Range Prawin Gurung informed, “Even I received the screenshot of the viral fake news, there has been no information as such, and it is evident that the video was from a year ago. There has been no FIR concerning the matter for now”.
The video has since been deleted.