Kozhikode man booked over social media post linking Nipah and big pharma

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Kozhikode: A case has been registered against a young man who posted on Facebook alleging that the Nipah virus is a fake creation by big pharmaceutical companies. The person booked is Koyilandy native Anil Kumar.

"He had circulated fake news through social media in connection with Nipah. In the post, he claimed that Nipah was a fake narrative created by pharma companies," a senior police official said.

Police added that as the post became viral and people started complaining, he deleted it.

A case under Section 505 (1) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and relevant provisions under the Kerala Police Act among others have been invoked.

The accused was summoned to the police station, served notice and let off, police said.

Section 505 (1) of the IPC deals with the offence of creating rumours which are likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public.

The state government and the police had earlier warned the public not to spread fake news about the Nipah outbreak.

Big pharma conspiracy theories are common on social media. Even during the Covid-19 pandemic period, many raised such claims. However, such claims are often devoid of facts and figures. Many deem it as misinformation.

Meanwhile, a meeting will be held under the leadership of the Education Minister on Friday to come to a decision regarding the functioning of schools amidst the Nipah scare. School management representatives will also participate in the meeting.

One more person was confirmed as being infected with Nipah on Friday bringing the total active cases to four.

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