More than 30 accounts on various social media platforms, including a TV news channel, have been identified by the Maharashtra Cyber Cell for propagating fake news, which misled migrant workers into believing that trains would be plying from Mumbai's Bandra station to their hometowns on Tuesday.
The scenes of huge crowds gathered at Bandra station has become a national talking point, especially coming hours after the address of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who announced an extension of the lockdown restrictions by 19 days till May 3.
"We have identified more than 30 accounts on various platforms including a news channel responsible for spreading rumour about train services. All this is informed to concerned police units," a press released by the Maharashtra Cyber Cell said.
A prominent Marathi news channel has also come under fire for falsely reporting that train services would be resuming after the end of the 21-day lockdown. Earlier, the South-central railways had also issued a notification, dated April 13, that special trains would be running to transport the migrant workers stranded in major cities back to their hometowns. However, the South-Central Railways clarified in a tweet that the circular didn't amount to an order and was only tentative, pending opening up of lockdown restrictions.
The press release stated that till April 14, more than 200 cases had been registered by the department, almost all of them relating to the spread of fake news and circulating hate messages to "create enmity between two sections or religions of society."
"Some of the notable districts are Beed (26), Kolhapur (15), Pune Rural (11), Mumbai (10), Sangali (10), Jalgaon (13), Jalna (9), Satara (7), Nanded (7), Parbhani (7), Nashik City (6), Nagpur City (5), Thane City (5), Sindhudurg (5), Buldhana (4), Pune City (4), Gondia (4), Solapur Rural (5), Solapur City (3), Navi Mumbai (2), Usmanabad (2), Thane Rural (1), Latur (4) and Dhule (1)," said the release.