In a bid to crack down on those spreading fake news regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta on Thursday announced the formation of a special team to monitor all social media platforms.
The team will be headed by an ADGP-rank officer, said the DGP, adding that it will identify and take action against anyone found circulating false news.
According to an official statement, the DGP also directed district police chiefs to take prompt action against those spreading false news.
The DGP said under the Disaster Management Act of 2005, which has now been promulgated all over country to deal with crisis, it is an offence to spread false news.
Issuing a strict warning to those indulging in the spread of fake news on this "critical and sensitive subject", the DGP said the Punjab Police would come down heavily on anyone found guilty in this regard.
He said the onus of spreading false news will be on the administrator of the WhatsApp group, therefore, they should cooperate with police in identifying those "who want to usurp their group for their personal agenda".
The DGP said to strictly enforce the curfew in the state, the police and district administration was setting up open jails for the violators.
Twenty-one such jails are already operational with more to be notified on Friday, he said, adding that anyone found violating the curfew would be sent to these jails and booked under the Disaster Management Act.
Punjab has reported five deaths due to coronavirus till date.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)