TMC lodges FIR with Meghalaya cyber cell over fake news

Meghalaya’s opposition Trinamool Congress (TMC) on July 1 filed an FIR with the cyber cell of the state police against a fake press note released in the name of party national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee, who visited the state on June 29.

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The ‘fake’ press release, bearing a ‘forged’ signature of the AITC national general secretary, announced that AITC had released the second list of party candidates for the next assembly elections in Meghalaya in 2023 and the two party nominees as mentioned in the ‘second list’ were Vicky Dey and Patricia Mukhim, editor of The Shillong Times.

The Trinamool Congress said that the fake and fabricated press release was circulated to tarnish the image of the party as well as the personalities named in it and demanded immediate action by Meghalaya Police to apprehend the culprits involved in preparing and circulating the false and fabricated press release.

Earlier, the Meghalaya Editors and Publishers Association and Shillong Press Club had condemned naming Patricia Mukhim as a candidate of AITC.

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“The troll carrying a false press release regarding Mukhim as the candidate of All India Trinamool Congress for the 2023 assembly elections is sickening and distasteful. MEPA never expected such a troll with the sole intention of tarnishing the image of a senior journalist,” MEPA general secretary John Wilson Thabah said in a statement.

“A deplorable recent instance has seen the name of the Editor of The Shillong Times, Padma Shri Patricia Mukhim, dragged into an attempt to malign a certain political party,” the Shillong Press Club said in a statement. “Although the advent of citizen journalism, via the arming of the general public with smartphones, does have its merits, it is imperative that, in this age of fake news, the public carefully consider the source of all the many posts that arrive through social media and messaging apps before giving any credence to them,” the statement read.

Urging the law enforcement to take stringent action against the disseminators of such criminally defamatory posts, the Shillong Press Club said: “In the 21st century, the authorities need to adopt modern means of tracking such criminals wherever they might be hiding.”

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