In West Bengal particularly in Kolkata, a WhatsApp image with a message is doing rounds. The images show an arm, stamped by Gariahat police station, shown as the first warning from Police for coming out of the home without an emergency purpose. It further says, next time if the same person with the stamp is found outside, he or she will have to face 6 months jail term without any excuse or relaxation.
As we are aware India is going through 21 days nationwide lockdown, which started on 24rhMarch, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared the three-week nationwide lockdown, explaining that it was the only way of breaking the Covid-19 infection cycle, as he said, “Social distancing is the only way to break the cycle of infection”.
Even after the lockdown, some people are creating a nuisance by going out of their home without following the repeated warnings of social distancing, which is forcing the Police to take extreme steps to control those unruly citizens. Hence this image becomes viral on WhatsApp creating confusion among the people mainly in Kolkata. So the News Sense Fact Check team decided to investigate whether the claim is real or fake.
As the stamp was from Gariahat Police Station, we contacted senior police officials of Kolkata Police. One of the senior police officers confirmed, “It is a clear hoax, the image used may be real but the context for which the image is used, is fake”. Another Senior Police official, said, “as per my info no such stamp is being used for the ongoing regulations”.
There is nothing to panic as the government has also issued a notification citing all essential services will remain open, as before, and all essential commodities and medicines would be available for people. Hospitals, Banks, ATMs, Petrol Pumps and Grocery shops will continue to function, but all transport services, air, road and rail will remain suspended till April 14.
Claim: Warning from Police for coming out of home
Conclusion: It’s a hoax, People can come out, only for emergency purposes.