Intensifying their crackdown on rumour mongers, the Punjab Police has approached the Centre for blocking 45 social media links that have been found to be spreading fake news, misinformation and rumours related ti Covid-19.
A wave of misinformation is being spread through social media platforms that doctors and paramedics are falsely declaring people COVID-19 positive and taking out their organs for monetary benefits.
The Punjab Police's decision to approach the Centre came after the social media platforms failed to act against such posts and accounts within the mandated 36 hours of notices issued to them by the state.
With 13 more accounts/links being blocked by various platforms, the total number of URLs blocked for spreading false propaganda in the state has gone up to 121, the police said. While Facebook has blocked 47 links or accounts, Twitter has blocked 52, YouTube has blocked 21 and Instagram has blocked one.
In addition, 292 more links carrying malicious content have been reported to social media platforms, Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta said in a statement here.
The central government's intervention has been sought for 45 such links, police said.
The police have also issued a look-out circular for Satinder Singh, a resident of Vienna in Austria. He was allegedly responsible for posting fake videos and asking people in Punjab to refrain from going to hospitals for treatment, saying "human organs of patients were being traded at COVID-19 hospitals."
The anchors of 'Fastway TV USA' and 'Fastway News' have also been booked for spreading misleading facts about ASHA workers.
A total of 18 FIRs have been registered so far against people involved in rumour-mongering, said the DGP. This includes an FIR against LIP MLA Simarjit Singh Bains.
The police said they have sent a letter to the Cyber Law Division of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and sought its intervention to block and take action against 45 such social media links or accounts responsible for spreading misinformation.
The State Cyber Crime Cell, Punjab, has also appealed to the people not to share any unverified or unauthentic post, news, videos or stories regarding Covid-19 on social media platforms.
The Chief Minister had ordered the crackdown amid widespread rumour mongering and spread of fake news on social media platforms.