UP Police cracks down on fake news amid Covid-19 crisis, lodges 40 FIRs

The government is increasing the number of covid-19 beds to 100,000 from the present count of 78,500 beds across 75 districts in UP | Photo: Shutterstock
Amid the Covid-19 induced lockdown, the Uttar Pradesh Police have lodged at least 40 first information report (FIR) pertaining to fake news circulating on social media platforms.

According to the state government, 40 FIRs were registered till May 22 under the ongoing drive to curb fake news.

A total of 123 social media accounts spanning popular platforms  - Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and WhatsApp  - have also been blocked following the complaints.

After the lockdown was announced in March 2020, the Adityanath government had warned of tough action against fake news and agai8nst those uploading inflammatory material on social media sites.

Last month, the state government had suspended a gram panchayat official in Hardoi district under similar charges.

Meanwhile, the police have lodged nearly 54,000 FIRs against 152,000 persons under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for defying lockdown protocols pertaining to the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.

Additionally, the police have filed 639 FIRs and arrested more than 300 persons across the state under the stringent Essential Commodities (EC) Act, UP additional chief secretary Awanish Kumar Awasthi said here this evening.

Meanwhile, the state government announced cash handout of Rs 1,000 each to the migrant labourers returning to UP from other states by trains and buses after mapping their skills.

More than two million migrant have already returned and the influx continues unabated with more than 150,000 workers returning every day, mostly by trains.

So far, the Adityanath government has paid the Rs 1,000 cash support to more than 3.2 million daily wage earners in the state, who had lost their livelihood owing to lockdown.

The addition of the incoming migrants would take the tally to more than five million, if all the workers are covered under the scheme going forward.

Till now, the state government has arranged for almost 1,200 Shramik Special trains to evacuate its stranded labourers from other state. Of these, more than a hundred trains are expected to come in the next 1-2 days. The trains are estimated to account for the arrival of more than 1.6 million of migrants.

At the same time, nearly 650,000 workers have also returned either by their own means or ferried by the roadways buses from Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttarakhand etc.

Since, the corona cases are also rising with the steady arrival of migrants, the chief minister has directed the medical and health department to increase the daily sample testing to 10,000. The state has produced new testing machines, which are expected to arrive in the next 3-4 days for deployment in the government medical colleges.

The government is increasing the number of covid-19 beds to 100,000 from the present count of 78,500 beds across 75 districts in UP.

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