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Three arrested for making a fake Nagpur reeling audio clip with’ 59 positive’ cases

NAGPUR: In a major breakthrough, three people were arrested by the City Police Cyber cell on Friday for allegedly producing a fake audio clip claiming’ 59 positive cases’ in Nagpur and later making it viral. This may have been the first case in the area where cybercops have successfully hit the source of the forwarded message in social media.

The clip caused widespread panic across the country. Police said the guilty parties, including a businessman who owns clubs in the city, had made an audio file from North Nagpur on March 23 and later forwarded it to their friend to create a scare among the children in their families and others in the area.

The central government, through the Press Information Office (PIB), had to make a nationwide announcement that the audio was fake and not to believe in the material.

This case now comes with a landmark cyber cell identification that was able to crack down on three guilty suspects, Jay Gupta (37), Amit Pardhi (38) and Divyanshu Mishra (33), who were arrested in the early hours of Friday. The City Police had registered a case against unidentified persons at the Sadar Police Station about a day ago after the clip went viral and sparked fear and panic across India. There was a conversation in the clip between Gupta and Pardhi.

The 4.52-minute clip also stated that about 200 more suspects were present in the area. These also referred to one of Dr Kamlesh’s comments that he was on the ventilator after being confirmed positive. The clip also listed the name’ Nitin,’ which many thoughts was a highly-placed Vidarbha politician currently at the helm of the battle against Covid-19.

It’s found that Gupta, a businessman who owns a club in Ajni and other business establishments, along with Pardhi, was the mastermind behind the entire episode who forwarded the clip to Mishra, a family friend who is working in Delhi but was in town because of his wife’s pregnancy. Mishra lived in Suyog Nagar, Ajni. Gupta lived in Automotive Square, while his friend was from Misal Layout in Jaripatka.

Mishra had forwarded the fake clip to a woman who had gone viral to a friend before the fake clip had gone. After hearing about the investigation, Gupta also removed the clips and reintroduced the software on Mishra’s wife’s cell phone.

The cyber-cell unit of Asst PIs Vishal Mane, Keshav Wagh and Ashwini Jagtap, under DCP Shweta Khedkar, Addl CP, Crime, Nilesh Bharne, working under Joint CP Ravindra Kadam and CP BK Upadhyay, first managed to shut down the woman that Mishra’s wife had forwarded and then nabbed the rest.

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