Hyderabad: The Balanagar police on Wednesday arrested a man on charges of spreading fake news by circulating a two-year-old video of a flyover collapse in Varanasi saying it was the Balanagar-Jeedimetla flyover that had crashed down, killing several people.
The video went viral on social media, including on Twitter and in several WhatsApp groups with the captions saying it was the Balanagar-Jeedimetla flyover and claimed many lives leading to panic among people.
Police said the arrested person Srinivas, a travel agent from Sanathnagar, had received the video on WhatsApp and without verifying it, he went on to circulate it.
“We booked him for criminal intimidation and spreading false news. He is the eleventh person in the chain of users who circulated the video. We are yet to trace the start of it,” said an official.
Earlier, the video saw the Telangana State Police replying on Twitter to several queries from the public, adding a YouTube link which clearly showed the video is from 2018 and from Varanasi.
The Cyberabad Traffic Police and even the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) too tweeted on the same, pointing out that there was no such accident in Hyderabad and that incident of the under construction flyover collapsing, trapping vehicles and people underneath, happened in Varanasi.
The video went viral since the Balanagar flyover was coming up and people immediately linked the under construction flyovers, and began sharing it widely. With the HMDA also tweeting that it was fake video, several Twitterati replied with news reports from 2018 which show the same accident, thus proving that the ‘Balanagar-Jeedimetla’ episode news was fake.
According to a report published by fact-checking website Factly too, a reverse image search of the screenshots of the video led to a 2018 news report on the same incident. “The video shows collapse of a part of a flyover that was under construction in Varanasi in 2018. This establishes that this is an old video and has nothing to do with Hyderabad,” Factly said.
No sir, It’s not belongs to Balangar-Hyderabad.
It’s a two years old video of Varanasi. Please go through the link https://t.co/FmsslZNSSa
— Telangana State Police (@TelanganaCOPs) February 24, 2021
Video in social media circulation does not pertain to balanagar flyover site pic.twitter.com/oTfQ1dqqKt
— HMDA (@HMDA_Gov) February 24, 2021
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