The Uttarakhand administration has filed FIR against 17 organisations for spreading fake news on social media about the forest fires in Uttarakhand.
Jai Raj, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCR), told ANI that “Some people spread rumours on social media about the fire in forests of Uttarakhand.
Pictures of fires of forest in other countries were shared. This is wrong and a criminal offence. We have registered FIRs against those 17 organisations under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and IT Act 2017. Police are taking action.”
Earlier, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat had retweeted the tweet by Uttarakhand Press Information Bureau which exposed the rumours and posted the old photos of China and Chile that were being circulated as forest fires of Uttarakhand. Rawat urged people to stay away from rumours.
“Fires in China and Chile, as well as images of forest fires of 2016 and 2019 are being circulated to mislead and spread a far from truth propaganda against Uttarakhand. Please be aware of such misinformation and stay away from rumours,” Chief Minister tweeted.
चीन और चिली के जंगलों मे लगी आग एवं वर्ष २०१६ और २०१९ की वनाग्नि की पुरानी तस्वीरों के माध्यम से उत्तराखंड के खिलाफ एक भ्रामक और सत्य से परे दुष्प्रचार चल रहा है; कृपया ऐसी अफवाहों पर ध्यान न दें और ऐसी भ्रामक खबरों से सावधान रहें| https://t.co/SY5eigG4QC
— Trivendra Singh Rawat (@tsrawatbjp) May 27, 2020
The Cabinet Minster of Uttarakhand, Madan Kaushik also thrashed the social media rumour and he said that he people should not follow fake news.
उत्तराखंड के जंगलों में भीषण आग की झूठी खबरें सोशल मीडिया पर चल रही है, मैं फेक खबरों की निंदा करता हूं. https://t.co/1MHQ4VTMht
— Madan Kaushik (@madankaushikbjp) May 28, 2020
Congress leader Jitin Prasada also tweeted over the wild fires but later retracted his tweet when Uttarakhand chief minister apprised him that the images Prasada has posted are false.
Some of the images being circulated on Twitter may not be true. The state though is battling forest fires. I retract my tweet of images and pray that Uttarakhand is able to control the fires with minimal loss to lives and ecosystem. #prayforuttarakhand https://t.co/8XPkYikpOZ
— Jitin Prasada जितिन प्रसाद (@JitinPrasada) May 27, 2020