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Madhya Pradesh Crime Branch Books Kamal Nath for Spreading ‘Fake News’ on Covid-19

File photo of former Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath.

File photo of former Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath.

In the complaint, the BJP leaders alleged that Nath’s statement at this moment of crisis is creating confusion and defaming the country internationally.

Congress leader Kamal Nath was booked by the Madhya Pradesh Crime Branch for spreading ‘fake news’ during a pandemic after the former chief minister, in a press conference in Ujjain on Saturday, reportedly said that coronavirus, which has spread in the world, has come to be known as the Indian variant of the virus.

The case against him was registered based on a complaint lodged by Bhopal BJP district president Sumeet Pachouri and two BJP MLAs- Vishwas Sarang and Rameshwar Sharma- among others. Nath was charged under section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant) of the IPC and section 54 (making or circulating a false alarm or warning as to disaster or its severity or magnitude, leading to panic) of National Disaster Management Act 2005.

In the complaint, the BJP leaders alleged that Nath’s statement at this moment of crisis is creating confusion and defaming the country internationally. It added that Nath has disobeyed the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines to stem Covid-19 and his act amounts to sedition according to IPC.

Besides, the complaint also said Nath’s “false allegations” that the government was hiding the real number of deaths occurred due to coronavirus amount to creating fear and falls under the category of criminal offence.

Earlier this week, the government issued an advisory to social media platforms, asking them to remove all content with mention of the ‘Indian strain’ of Covid-19. The WHO has made it clear that any strain of the virus cannot be named after the country where it was first detected, said the advisory.

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