Mumbai: Cops ask citizens to refrain from rumour-mongering

Mumbai: After tension between India and Pakistan escalated following the air strikes, people have been panicking at the discovery of abandoned objects in public places. Police have requested citizens to not believe in rumours and be vigilant, ever since the state was put on high alert on Wednesday.

Apart from increasing the deployment of security forces across all the sensitive areas in the city, the cybercell of Mumbai Police is keeping a watchful eye on social media to deter rumour-mongers.  After the Pulwama attack, social media has been rife with old and fake posts of bomb scares in the city.

These wrong posts sparked panic, with netizens forwarding and sharing the same posts without verification. In the light of these events, Mumbai Police’s cybercell has formed a special team to keep tabs on such messages.  A senior police officer said, police stations have been sensitised and police forces are monitoring everything.

We request people shouldn’t fall prey to rumours on social media. If in doubt, please reach out to the police control room or dial 100 for help. Don’t spread rumours or fall prey to them,” said Manjunath Singe, deputy commissioner of police (operations).

Police and citizens have been on high alert ever since two bomb scares were reported in the city, recently. In a recent incident, a ‘bomb’ was reportedly spotted near the Gorai dumping ground in Borivli (W) on Monday morning by a school bus supervisor, who reported the incident to the police.

A team from the bomb detection and disposal squad rushed to the spot, only to discover it was a toy. However, on social media the matter had reportedly blown out of proportion and was being circulated as ‘Bomb found in Gorai dumping ground’, which was shared by more than 500 people on Facebook and Twitter, following which police control rooms were flooded with calls.

In another incident on Tuesday, passengers of a BEST bus plying near Kandivli mistook an abandoned air conditioner compressor for a bomb. Police said, a passenger had accidentally left his parcel containing an air-conditioner compressor and the passengers panicked, thinking it was an explosive device. Nitin Pondkule, senior police inspector of Kandivli police station said, “The passenger who forgot the parcel, came back and claimed it.

There was no explosive presence on the public vehicle. Police had reached the spot and after proper verification, the matter was resolved.” In a similar case, an abandoned travel bag was found near a school ground in Sanpada, which spread panic and the school was dispersed for the day. Police said there was no explosive device on the bag and it was a hoax call.

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