The viral fake message claims seven areas in Mumbai, most of them in South Mumbai have been blacklisted by the police as they unable to control the crowds. It further claims that the Army has been called in and given power to use rubber bullets.
The viral message in Hindi reads 'Red Alert: These areas have been blacklisted 1. Nal Bazar 2. Mohd Ali Road 3. Bhindi Bazar 4. Dongri 5. Madanpura 6. Kala Pani 7. Saat Rasta ! The blacklisted areas are beyond police control so the police has called in the military. now the military will keep a strict vigil on these areas and can use baton and rubber bullets to bring things under control. So, please stop venturing out of your houses immediately. Share this with everyone'.
BOOM got in touch with spokesperson of Mumbai Police, Pranay Ashok, who rubbished the claims and called the message 'entirely fake'.
The message is being shared in the backdrop of the 21-day lockdown called by the government to slow the spread of Coronavirus in the country. As of now, the deadly COVID-19 has infected more than 980 individuals and 25 have lost their lives to it.
The message shared below was sent on BOOM's WhatsApp helpline.
A quick search with the text on social media revealed that the message is being shared on Facebook and Twitter as well.
❌❌ RED ALERT— vaid Shweta pravin parmar (@Shwetapravinpa1) March 28, 2020
Mumbai ke En Ilaako Ko Black List Me Dala Gya Hai
1. Nal bazar
2. Mohd Ali Rd
3. Bhindi bazar
6. Kala Pani
7. Saat rasta
Chin'hit ilake police control se bahar Hai,Eslliye Police Ne Military Forces Ko Bulaya Gya Hai.@AskAnshul
❌❌ RED ALERT ❌❌ Mumbai En Ilaako Ko Black List Me Dala Gya Hai 1. Nal bazar 2. Mohd Ali Rd 3. Bhindi bazar 4....Posted by Manju Gupta on Saturday, 28 March 2020
BOOM contacted Mumbai Police PRO Pranay Ashok, who told us that no such thing is happening, and that the message is factually incorrect . "There's nothing like that going on. No such measures are being taken. This message is entirely fake," he said.
We further looked for media reports of such an announcement and did not find any report. There is also no official government notification about such an alert in the area.
BOOM also found that the army and paramilitary forces have not been deployed for curfew control in Mumbai. Recently, Maharashtra sought the Indian Army's help to enable free movement of essential goods including medical infrastructure across the state.