Hit-and-run tweet that sent police into tizzy a hoax?

Social media has empowered the nation’s citizens like no other channel before, but was this power misused by one of them yesterday? The city police seems to believe so. A tweet Wednesday afternoon about, ‘a car driver hitting a girl and then zooming past her without bothering to help’, led to a barrage of reactions on and off the net.

Cops too sprung into action and a team was sent to the spot identified by the tweeter. However, they had to return empty-handed, with no signs of the girl, the car, its owner, any accident, or any witnesses.

Faking it: PsyBaba had even posted tweets informing that the police  had arrested the driver of the WagonR. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

However, our attempts to speak with the tweeter — PsyBaba (@hackatac) — who had started the chain reaction remained unsuccessful as he urged for obscurity and even questioned our intentions, saying that we were only interested in doing a story. PsyBaba had tweeted around 1.30 pm on January 23 that he had informed the police control room after witnessing a white WagonR knock down a girl at Nal Stop on Karve Road and speed away.

When MiD DAY contacted the control room, the in-charge, inspector Prakash Shah, said that a call from an unidentified person had been received around 1.30 pm and the case was forwarded to Kothrud police station. However, when we contacted the police station, this reporter was told by cops that the case was possibly dispatched to Deccan police station. As the Deccan police pleaded ignorance on the matter, we again contacted Kothrud police where the marshal on duty, Sagar Jagtap, told MiD DAY that he had received a call from the control room and had immediately gone to the spot.

“One other marshal and I had gone to the location. How ever, there was no sign of any accident. We even asked nearby shopkeepers, but they denied having seen anything. So, we had to return after a fruitless pursuit,” he said. He claimed he had informed Kothrud and Deccan police after receiving communication from the caller.

Meanwhile, PsyBaba posted other tweets, informing that cops had arrested the driver of the WagonR. The other in-charge of the control room Sudhakar Kate said that no one had been arrested, as there was no complaint in this regard.

“An accident may have been taken place, but it must have been a minor one, as we didn’t receive any communication from any of the hospitals in the city in this regard. We sent our cops to the location, but they didn’t find any evidences of a mishap,” Kate said.

He also informed MiD DAY that he had spoken with the caller who contacted the control room, and asked him about the entire occurrence. The person told cops that he was in an auto rickshaw at the time of the accident and had called the police afterwards. However, he was unaware about what happened later. MiD DAY also traced the owner of the car and he denied that any such mishap had occurred. 

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