Covid-19: One arrested for spreading misinformation

Staff Reporter
DOIMUKH, Mar 26: One Teshi Nosu, a resident of Yupia, was arrested by the police here on Thursday in connection with spreading false news through an audio clip about a young man being infected with the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).
On Thursday morning, family members of the young man filed an FIR against an unknown person for circulating misinformation through an audio clip claiming that their brother had been “infected by Covid-19 and is hiding at Nyorch, Doimukh.”
Speaking to this daily, the older sister of the young man informed that Nosu was arrested on Thursday evening by the police.
She said the family of the accused wants to solve the matter locally and wants her to take back the FIR.
“My brother and my family have gone through many problems since the audio went viral. I want the accused to be punished according to law,” she said.
As per the FIR, the woman whose voice is in the audio clip is an employee at the DC office in Yupia. The victim’s sister also said that there is another audio clip, in a man’s voice, in circulation. “The one behind the male audio clip might be from Midpu village,” she said.
The man behind the audio clip is yet to be arrested.
According to the FIR, the young man has returned from his college in Uttar Pradesh because of the nationwide lockdown.
After passing the mandatory screening at the airports in New Delhi and Guwahati, and at various check gates, as a precautionary measure, he was kept in isolation at their family farmhouse for 14 days, as advised.
The family said that in the morning hours of 25 March, some unknown youths from nearby villages of Yupia-Nyorch-Tigdo starting pelting stones at their farmhouse and threatened their brother.
“Soon after, the fake news on social media about my brother being infected with the coronavirus went viral. The incident and the fake news have had a demoralizing effect on my brother, and we sense danger to his life,” the sister said, adding that the misinformation was not only creating panic but also tarnishing the image of her brother, who has been home-quarantined as per directions.
She appealed to the public not to spread false news that could have severe negative effects on a family.
The Papum Pare SP could not be contacted for an update on the case.