The Gujarat police have arrested four people in Ahmedabad for spreading rumours regarding the health of Union Home Minister Amit Shah. According to police, they were found spreading a photoshopped tweet on Amit Shah which was posted on various social media accounts.
According to the reports, the accused have been identified as Firoz Khan, Sarfaraz, Sajjad Ali, and Shiraz Hussain. The four accused were reportedly spreading false rumours regarding the health of Home Minister Amit Shah.
“Today, at a time when the central government, Gujarat government and people are fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, spreading fake news over social media is a crime. A photoshopped Tweet was made on Union Home Minister (Amit Shah) and was posted in different social media groups,” Ajay Tomar, Special Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch, told media after the arrest.
A case was registered under Section 66 (C) and 66 (D) of the IT Act and Section 419 of the Indian Penal Code against the culprits and further probe is on to find the origin of the fake news.
Over the last few days, rumours have been doing rounds on social media that Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s health is not well. Apart from baseless speculations about his health, fake news about his health is also being circulate using photoshopped tweets of the home minister himself.
Home Minister clarifies regarding his health
However, days after several rumours began to spread regarding his health status, Union Home Minister Amit Shah took to Twitter today to dismiss the conspiracy theories being floated regarding his ill-health. Home Minister Amit Shah also informed people and BJP workers that all theories surrounding his health were just rumours.
In a tweet, the Home Minister said that several social media users have used platforms to spread baseless rumours about his health and pointed out certain people even wished for his death.
Home Minister Amit Shah mentioned that how millions of his party workers and his well-wishers have expressed a lot of concern since the last two days regarding his health.
Rumours over Amit Shah’s health and death wishes
At a time when the country is fighting the major crisis of coronavirus pandemic, rumours regarding the health of Home Minister was spread on social media by vested interests. Controversial journalist Shahid Siddiqui had posted a tweet which suggested that all is not well with Shah. He claimed that something very unusual or serious has taken place, and demanded that govt should come out and tell the nation where he is. Before Siddiqui, known fake news peddler Rana Ayyub had also claimed that Home Minister Amit Shah has not been seen in recent times.
As rumours began to spread regarding the ill-health of Amit Shah, Islamists and anti-India brigade took to Facebook to wish death upon Home Minister Amit Shah. Certain journalists, AAP supporters were seen wishing death to Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
Fake news regarding Amit Shah suffering from cancer
A purported tweet has gone viral on social media platforms, claiming to be posted by Home Minister Amit Shah himself, in which Home Minister has announced that he has been suffering from cancer. The tweet has also resulted in a trend ‘Amit Shah Cancer’ on Twitter.
However, no such tweet was posted by Amit Shah from his verified Twitter handle. Moreover, if one looks at the tweet carefully, it can be determined that the image is fake as the character count in the doctored image has crossed the 280 characters limit on Twitter. The tweet is too long to be part of a single post and on the actual Twitter platform, this would have actually have to be posted as a Twitter thread.
Some part text of the tweet is also displayed below Amit Shah’s display picture, which does not occur on the normal Twitter user interface.