Ex-MLA booked on charge of spreading rumour on quake

Patna: A former two-time MLA in Bihar has been booked for allegedly spreading rumour about earthquake through WhatsApp, social messaging app, a senior police officer said today.

"The case has been registered against Dayanand Rai, the former MLA from Narpatganj in Araria district, with Sachivalay police station in this regard," Senior Superintendent of Police, Patna Jitendra Rana told PTI.

The SSP said that the case was registered under section 505 of IPC (statements conducting to public mischief) on Saturday night on the basis of complaint of Station House Officer of Sachivalay police station.

The two-term RJD MLA from 1990 to 2000 has been made an accused of spreading rumour through WhatsApp message that predicated high-intensity earthquake returning on last Saturday night.

The SHO said in his complaint he saw people rushing towards a park on Saturday night, hours after Patna and other parts of Bihar along with Nepal witnessed a massive earthquake of 7.99 magnitude.

On inquiry about circulation of message from the people, name of the former legislator cropped up. The SHO said he had a talk with the ex-MLA who is presently in Delhi for his medical treatment. When he returns, the police would question him and take
his statement on the issue, the SHO said.

The former MLA was not available on phone for comment but his son Rajesh Kumar told PTI that he has already told the SHO of Sachivalya that the message on WhatsApp was forwarded from his mobile and not his father's.

Rajesh said he had received a WhatsApp message on his cell about chance of high intensity earthquake returning on last Saturday night which he said he did not read carefully and forwarded to workers of an organisation named "Yuva Sangathan Narpatganj" with which he works. "But, when I realised the mistake of forwarding the message without reading it carefully...I immediately put up another message expressing sorry," Kumar said adding the social media from where the message emanated should be held responsible.

"After explaining to the police I do not know why a case has been registered that also against my father who has nothing to do with it," he said.

The Patna SSP reiterated appeal of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to guard against rumours regarding earthquake and said police were keeping a close tab over rumour mongers.

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