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Three arrested in Nagpur for circulating fake audio clip claiming 59 people tested positive for Chinese virus in the city

Nearly 35 people were questioned by the cyber cell before managing to find out the culprits. Several people were called and rounded up by the cyber team working round the clock in the last couple of days.

Taking strict action over the anti-social elements for spreading rumours about inflated numbers of the Chinese epidemic COVID-19 cases, the Nagpur cyber police have arrested three people for spreading a fake audio clip claiming ’59 positive cases’ exist in the city, reports Times of India.

Reportedly, the viral clip had caused severe panic across the city. The Nagpur police have now arrested three, including a businessman, who had made the fake video clip on March 23 and had made viral to create a panic among the children in the family and others in the city.

Perhaps, this is the first case in the region where cyber police have successfully managed to trace the source of the fake audio. The police have now arrested Jay Gupta (37), Amit Pardhi (38) and Divyanshu Mishra (33) for circulating fake audio clip to create a scare in the city.

Earlier, the city police had registered the case against unidentified persons at Sadar police station after the clip went viral.

The 4.52-minute fake audio clip had also mentioned that there are nearly 200 people who are suspected to be carrying the Chinese virus in Nagpur. It had also referred to one Dr Kamlesh stating he was on a ventilator after being tested positive. The clip had also mentioned a name ‘Nitin’ which many felt was a highly placed politician from Vidarbha currently responsible for the fighting against COVID-19 in the state. The conversation in the clip was between Gupta and Pardhi.

Read: Beware: spreading rumours about the Wuhan Coronavirus spread on social media can land you in jail for 6 months

It is now revealed that Gupta, a businessman owning a club at Ajni and other business establishments, along with Pardhi was the mastermind behind the entire episode who had forwarded the clip to Mishra, a family friend, who is employed in Delhi but was in city due to wife’s pregnancy. Mishra stayed at Suyog Nagar in Ajni. Gupta resided at Automotive Square while his friend is from Misal Layout in Jaripatka.

Mishra had forwarded the fake clip to his wife who later to a friend before the fake clip had gone viral. After learning about the police had become active to nab the accused.

A Cyber cell team consisting Asst Police Inspectors Vishal Mane, Keshav Wagh and Ashwini Jagtap, under DCP Shweta Khedkar, Nilesh Bharne, Joint CP Ravindra Kadam and CP BK Upadhyay, managed to find the woman whom Mishra’s wife had forwarded and later arrested the rest.

Nearly 35 people were questioned by the cyber cell before managing to find out the culprits. Several people were called and rounded up by the cyber team working round the clock in the last couple of days.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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