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Six including three Congress corporators booked for circulating unofficial info on WhatsApp

Six people including three Congress corporators booked by the Naya Nagar Police for allegedly circulating unofficial message related to relaxations in the total lockdown imposed by MBMC. AS per the message circulated reads that the three corporators with three others met commissioner and the latter has assured them relaxation during the on-going month of Ramzan.

The message was in circulation two days before the official announcement by the MBMC commissioner Mr Chandrakant Dange. Nevertheless, the message claimed that the three corporators had met the MBMC’s commissioner, who had assured them of relaxing the curfew by April 27.

The Naya Nagar police have registered an offence under sections 269, 54, 34 and 188 of the IPC, Disaster Management Act, 2005 and Epidemic Disease Act 1897. The three Congress corporators booked are Sarah Akram, Naresh Patil, and Congress-designated Independent corporator Amjad Shaikh. Three other including Rafiq Shaikh, Sayyed Ibrahim and Rehman Rizvi also booked as their name appeared in the message.

Police received the same message by one of the members on ‘Police Mitra’ a WhatsApp group made to collaborate between residents and police personnel in the Naya Nagar area.

It has been alleged that sans any official orders by the civic administration, the over-enthusiastic corporators jumped the gun by sharing information on social media platforms that barricades will be lifted in the Naya Nagar area and fruit-vegetable shops, milk-booths and bakery stores will be allowed to remain open in designated time slots.

What they say

However, the corporators termed the allegations as politically motivated. Sarah Akram said, “Don’t know why they have registered the FIR. To pass information about the meeting held with the officials to our voters is an offence?.

Naresh Patil said, “The FIR is uncalled for and registered under pressure. The content of the message itself explains that the relaxations were assured by the municipal commissioner with whom all three of us had met with the request.” 

“There were no rumours in the message. Doesn’t an elected representative have the right to inform his voter’s about the development of issues faced by them during this Lockdown via messaging platform available to reach them? Is it a crime to pacify people who are restless due to complete Lockdown during Ramzan,” said Amjad Shaikh.