In a statement, State Police Chief Loknath Behera made it clear that the police will take stringent action against those who spread fake messages. The state police have sought the assistance of Cyberdome, the state-owned system to investigate cybercrimes and the state Hi-Tech cell.
The police will identify such people through a scientific probe and they will be brought to book. “We will take action, including arrest, against such people,” Behera said. He also said that those who receive false messages should immediately contact the District Disaster Management Office or DGP control room (0471-2722500, 9497900999). Earlier, the state government had warned of strict action against people found spreading fake information about the flood.
It came in the wake of images and videos of the 2018 deluge being circulated on social media.
Kerala State Disaster Management Authority officials said spreading videos and pictures that cause panic among people over social media invites legal action under Section 54 (Punishment for false warning) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
On Friday, some messages claimed that all major dams, including Idukki dam, had reached capacity and their shutters would be opened any time. There were also rumours that all petrol pumps would be closed due to shortage of fuel.