As Delhi struggles under the fourth wave of Chinese coronavirus, a new wave of fake news and falsehoods is being created on social media by Modi-hating ‘influencers’.
Delhi-lawyer and columnist Dushyant on Sunday tweeted that multiple people have reached out to him claiming that Delhi Police is ‘hounding’ them and asking them to shut down their WhatsApp groups and other crowdsourcing efforts amid the pandemic.
Dushyant is a very vocal Rahul Gandhi and Congress supporter.
He was joined by NDTV’s Gargi Rawat Ansari who questioned whether Delhi Police is acting against these ‘volunteers’ because they are providing scarce resources, thereby casting aspersions that Delhi Police is trying to hamper relief efforts of ‘volunteers’.
Gargi Rawat Ansari is married to Yusuf Ahmad Ansari, the great-grandson of former Congress President Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari. Notorious gangster Mukhtar Ansari who was recently brought to UP from Punjab is also one of her close relatives through marriage.
Similar messages were shared with unverifiable claims where their ‘friends’ claimed their WhatsApp relief group was ‘dismantled’.
More people had replied to the tweet accusing Delhi Police of cracking down on volunteers last year as well during the migrant crisis after Kejriwal govt ran buses to UP border while the inter-state movement was prohibited.
It is imperative to note here that none of these claims were supported by evidence.
Soon, copy-paste toolkit gang got activated and similar messages started floating on social media.
One Twitter user ‘Piku’ tweeted the same thing as Dushyant.
@risingsurbhi is an AAP social media worker and is followed by various AAP leaders.
Many social media users spread such messages on various platforms claiming that Delhi Police is forcing ‘volunteers’ to shut down the coordinating activities.
Here are some more tweets by influencers making similar claims about Delhi Police.
Kisse Kahaniyaan has over 4,400 followers on Twitter and is followed by many influential Twitter users, politicians, political activists and journalists.
As one can see, many Congress leaders and supporters are following this influential account.
Similarly, Kakul Prasher is also followed by many politicians, journalists and activists.
The Delhi Police, however, has refuted these allegations.
Delhi Police said that it takes strong objection to such motivated, unverified and unsubstantiated allegations that Delhi Police has asked volunteers to stop amplifying resource information. Delhi Police also added how they have also been on their toes helping with oxygen supply and other essentials amid the coronavirus crisis and such misinformation campaign will not deter them from continuing to do the good work.
Fake news and hoax: Influencers spread conspiracy theory
On Saturday, the government of India had to step in and ask Twitter to remove false, malicious and misleading tweets regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Filmmakers like Vinod Kapri and Swara Bhaskar starrer Anarkali of Arrah director Avinash Das had resorted to share old, unrelated pictures or pictures of different locations which could have led to a panic-like situation. Similarly, political activist like Hansraj Meena had used his influence to amplify that coronavirus is a hoax and conspiracy and that the illness does not exist.