Police Notice to Ex-MLA in Bulandshahr Shared With False Context
Many shared this police notice, claiming that offering water to a labourer in Bulandshahr can lead to prison.
A photo of a notice issued by Bulandshahr Police is being shared with the claim that they are filing cases against multiple people who have been found providing migrant labourers with food amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
However, this is a false claim because the notice was actually issued to former BSP MLA Guddu Pandit alias Bhagwan Sharma, for gathering large groups of migrants at his home with the lure of food and flouting lockdown and social distancing rules.
The notice, undersigned by the Bulandshahr Police and seemingly addressed to a person, says that it has come to their notice that migrant labourers are stopped in front of the house.
The notice says that the police have received information that these migrant labourers are invited inside the house with promises of food and drinks, which leads to a violation of COVID-19 rules.
The notice further says that the person may be booked under the Epidemic Diseases Act in case of further instances of violation of rules.
Many people shared this notice from the police on Twitter, claiming that if one offers water to a labourer in Bulandshahr, they can go to prison and that the police is committing atrocities against those doing “noble work during the crisis”.
The notice was also viral on Facebook with the same claim.
WHAT WE FOUND
We found that the Bulandshahr Police had issued a clarification on their official Twitter handle, saying that the notice was a specific, one-off that had actually been issued to an individual accused of flouting social distancing norms in place due to COVID-19.
In the byte, uploaded to Twitter, the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Bulandshahr, says that the notice had been issued to Pandit for gathering migrant labourers at his house with promises of food and refreshments, which were leading to flouting of social distancing rules.
The SSP further says that the notice is being shared on social media without context with the aim of defaming the police. He says that various social workers and people in society have been helping labourers and others by providing and distributing food and that the police has been helping in this regard as well.
The Quint further reached out to the Bulandshahr Police Public Relations Officer, who rubbished the claims on social media.
“The claims on social media are baseless. The notice was issued to former BSP MLA Guddu Pandit, who refused to accept it after which the police pasted it outside his house. Taking advantage of the situation, he and his men shared the message on social media to malign the image of UP Police. Pandit wants to use this situation for political gains. He has been feeding a large number of people at his house without following social distancing norms. He is already facing four similar cases registered against him during COVID lockdown.”Bulandhshahr Police PRO to The Quint
In another video byte, made available to The Quint, the SSP elaborates on why the notice was issued to Pandit, detailing the previous complaints lodged against him for flouting lockdown rules.
He also explains that Pandit’s main aim was not to feed and help the migrant labourers walking home but to gather them in one place and then take photos in which people can be seen closely bunched together, which is against social distancing measures.
Speaking to The Quint, SSP Santosh Kumar Singh further clarified that the police had visited Pandit to hand over the notice to him and that the covering letter bore his name, explaining that when Pandit did not accept the notice, the same was pasted outside his house.
Pandit himself had also posted a photo of the police at his residence and the notice on his Facebook profile, showing that it was indeed addressed to him. In his post, he asks whether he should accept the notice or not.
We also found news reports about the notice that had been issued by the police to Pandit, accusing him of violating the rules. Hindi news websites Patrika and Amar Ujala both reported on the incident, making it clear that the notice was a specific one meant for one person and not issued in general.
The Quint also spoke to a local reporter in Bulandshahr who said that the notice had only been issued to Pandit and not multiple people, as claimed on social media.
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