Spreading Rumours About Coronavirus Could Land You In Jail In Maharashtra
Maharashtra government has decided to start lodging FIR with the cybersecurity cell of Pune police against people spreading rumours on social media platforms connecting the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) with consumption of poultry meat.
According to the Principal Secretary of Animal Husbandry, Marketing and Dairy Development Department, Anup Kumar, the animal husbandry commissioner has been instructed to take necessary steps in the matter following instructions from Cabinet Minister Sunil Kedar, The Indian Express reported.
On Sunday, a delegation from Vidarbha Poultry Farm and Poultry Farmers and Breeders Association (PF&BA) had a meeting with Kedar in Nagpur Sunday.
The discussion centred around the sudden dip in demand for poultry meat.
This occurred after viral messages claiming poultry as a source of coronavirus took social media by storm.
General manager of poultry giant Venkateshwara Hatcheries, Prasanna Pedgaonkar, claimed sales were down by at least 30%.
Chicken and egg consumption in Vidarbha has seen a remarkable decline in the last three weeks due to the same reason.
The PF&BA had lodged a police complaint with Shivajinagar police station, two weeks ago, against the spread of such misleading information on WhatsApp and Facebook.
The Logical Indian had earlier debunked the claim that coronavirus can spread from chickens.
Major steps to combat the situation have been taken by district-level offices, including major awareness drives, to dissipate rumours linking poultry meat with the spread of the virus.
Effect Of Fake News
According to NECC (National Egg Coordination Committee), egg prices in Nagpur went down from ₹4.75/piece on January 1 to ₹3.90 on Feb 10.
According to VPFA (Vidarbha poultry farmers' association), chicken consumption came down to 150 tons/day from 300 tons/day in the last 2 weeks.
In Pune, the farm gate prices (the net price of the product when it leaves the farm) have dropped from ₹65 per kg to ₹55 per kg.