Sromona Bhattacharyya Bhattacharyya
Hailing from Kolkata and now a resident of Bengaluru, Sromona is a multimedia journalist who has a knack for digging stories that truly deserve attention.
A fake notification declaring Eid-ul-Fitr holidays between June 12 and June 16 in the state of West Bengal has been making the rounds on social media.
The fake notification which was attributed to the state government’s Finance Department proclaimed a week-long holiday for all state government offices includes educational institutions, rural and urban local bodies, development authorities, boards, corporations, state government undertakings as well.
However, the Kolkata Police was swift in taking action, as in a tweet on Sunday morning, they revealed the notification was false and stated that stern actions will be taken against those who are found guilty of the crime.
A fake notification is doing the rounds in social media about Eid Holidays. It is false. Those who have masterminded this will be strictly dealt with as per law. pic.twitter.com/y5rRAa7QDP
— Kolkata Police (@KolkataPolice) June 10, 2018
Some local media outlets were quick to pick up on the news which added more confusion among people and state government officers in WB.
Apparently, this fake notification also spread on WhatsApp groups in Madhya Pradesh aimed to highlight the WB government’s policy of appeasement towards the minority groups.
Moreover, even as the Kolkata Police debunked the fake news on Sunday morning, a serving IAS officer, Sanjay Dixit from Rajasthan with 47 thousand followers on twitter, shared the false image while calling WB “Islamic State of West Bangladesh.”
He has since then deleted his original tweet, and issued a clarification, although the original tweet can be still accessed here.
What added to the confusion was that this fake notification included the name and signature of a government official on the notice and bore a fake government logo as well.
Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim told the Times of India, “A political vindictive campaigning is going on that our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is giving extra favour to the minority section. This fake message is only to establish their demand. We have informed the matter to cyber crime department.” Notably, only June 16 is the designated state holiday in West Bengal for Eid-ul-Fitr.
Reportedly, the Kolkata Police has begun a probe into the matter to find the culprits behind the misinformation.
Creating or sharing fake news is never justified. We have a responsibility to verify everything that we post on the internet. To ensure that our national debate is healthy and well-informed, each and every one of us has a responsibility of treating what we read with a pinch of salt, a spoonful of doubt, and a flood of research.
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