Organ harvesting allegations: Day after complaint, Ludhiana man booked for spreading misinformation
Raikot senior medical officer demanded registration of an FIR against the admin of the WhatsApp group on which the message was sharedUpdated: Sep 07, 2020, 22:11 IST
Taking note of falsehoods about organ harvesting doing rounds on social media, the Raikot police on Monday booked a person for spreading misinformation and creating panic among residents.
On Saturday, the family of a 52-year-old Covid-19 victim staged a protest alleging the health department’s involvement in an organ harvesting scam. However, Raikot senior medical officer Dr Alka Mittal had lodged a complaint with the police on Sunday alleging that the family had cried foul and claimed that the victim was killed by doctors for organ harvesting.
She demanded registration of an FIR against the admin of the WhatsApp group on which the message was being shared. She has given an ultimatum till Tuesday and threatened to stop medical services at the hospital if no action is taken by the police.
Station house officer of Raikot City police station Inspector Heera Singh said that the accused identified as Manoj Kumar Verma alias Monu, a resident of Talwandi, Raikot Road, has been booked under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 54 of the Epidemic Act for violating the government orders and for spreading misinformation to create panic.
The accused has been booked on the complaint of Jaswinder Singh Walia, a pharmacy officer of Raikot civil hospital.
The FIR stated that Monu’s message on WhatsApp accused the health department of organ harvesting of coronavirus patients and even condemned the state government for being involved in the scam.
“It is really sad that due to the misinformation being shared by such a foolish person, patients are reluctant to come out to get their tests done and reach the hospital when their condition deteriorates. Initially, we were rebutting this misinformation, but now we have decided to take stern action against such anti-social elements who are spreading fear and panic,” said Dr Alka Mittal.
It was on Saturday, a tailor from Raikot town succumbed to the virus. The victim’s family members staged a protest outside the crematorium alleging the health department’s involvement in an organ harvesting scam, a senior medical officer said that the video of the protest was being shared on social media with a message by Monu to circulate misinformation.
Civil surgeon Dr Rajesh Bagga reiterated that people should not fall prey to misinformation. “No transplant has been performed here since the Covid-19 outbreak in March. Transplants can only be conducted after receiving the government’s approval.”