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'Accident' tweet sends cops on wild goose chase

After man tweets that he suffered 6 fractures in mishap near Rajkot, follower sends cops, emergency services to his aid but later complains that it was a prank

The Mumbai cyber crime cell is in search of an alleged prankster who cried wolf and sent the police personnel and emergency services in Gujarat on a hectic search by tweeting that he had met with an accident on Gujarat Highway and needed help.


False alarm: The letter that Ramesh Solanki wrote to the cyber crime
cell of Mumbai police, complaining that Gothi had raised a false alarm
and misguided emergency services


The prank came to light after a complaint (copy with MiD DAY) was filed with the cyber crime cell by Ramesh Solanki, who had initially tried to help the accused after reading his tweet.

According to Solanki, in the late hours between November 12 and 13, he read a tweet by one Sachin Gothi who said that he had met with an accident on NH-8 near Rajkot. "Right hand leg not working, nobody around, somebody picked my wallet and heavy bleeding," said #yoursachingothi. A tweet before that said that he had been lying helpless for three hours with no response from emergency services.

Solanki read the tweets and phoned the Gujarat police headquarters to seek help. The Gujarat rural police rushed to the spot, but did not find anyone injured.

'Doesn't add up'
Meanwhile, Gothi tweeted again stating that he was being carried back to Mumbai in an ambulance and had suffered 6 fractures and received 32 stitches. But when Solanki called up the emergency service in Rajkot, he was informed that an ambulance had been dispatched to help the injured, but it returned without finding any victim, he said in his complaint to the cyber police.

Said Solanki, "It was surprising as the highway is busy all the time and anyone meeting with an accident cannot go unnoticed. After reading a few more of Gothi's tweets, I had my doubts as the accused stated that he had sustained 6 factures and received 32 stitches and had been picked up by the ambulance. How can someone in such a bad state type and tweet?" The ambulance's response confirmed his suspicion, he said.

On December 12, Solanki wrote to the cyber crime cell of Mumbai police, complaining that Gothi had raised a false alarm and misguided emergency services and the police.

"If such pranksters are let off, people who are actually in need of help will not get it. I requested the Gujarat police to help me with the records of the services being put to help the accused. Based on the records, I have filed the complaint."  

But Senior Inspector Mukund Pawar, cyber cell, Mumbai, said, "I don't remember any such complaint. I'll have to check."

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