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Police Books Former CM Chandrababu Naidu for False Alarm Over Andhra Covid Strain

File photo of TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu.

File photo of TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu.

The complaint was lodged by a lawyer Masupogu Subbaiah alleging that Naidu claimed that the coronavirus N440K strain was born in Kurnool city, and caused enormous damage to humans.

Police on Friday booked former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N Chandrababu Naidu under sections of the IPC and Disaster Management Act for allegedly spreading falsehood on COVID-19. The complaint was lodged by a lawyer Masupogu Subbaiah alleging that Naidu claimed that the coronavirus N440K strain was born in Kurnool city, and caused enormous damage to humans.

“His utterances have caused panic and distress among people. They have been resulting in mental duress in women and children, leading to their death," the lawyer said in the complaint. States like Odisha and Delhi have imposed restrictions on people from Andhra Pradesh and people of the state are being looked down upon because of the former Chief Ministers claims, the lawyer said in the complaint.

Hence, he said he sought a thorough inquiry against Naidu and others. Accordingly, the Kurnool police invoked Sections 188, 505 (1) (b) (2) of Indian Penal Code for making statements that were false and would create unnecessary panic or alarm.

Section 54 of the Disaster Management Act was invoked for Naidu had given a false warning on the coronavirus strain. The Telugu Desam Party decried the case against its leader and lashed out at Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy for pursuing politics of vendetta at a time when a major health crisis gripped the State.

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The false case has been fabricated against Chandrababu only to cover the failures of the Chief Minister. More than 20,000 coronavirus cases are being registered in the State daily. Tens of persons were dying due to scarcity of oxygen in hospitals," former Deputy Chief Minister (Home) N China Rajappa said in a statement. The government has grossly failed in vaccinating the people and has been ignoring public health and focusing, instead, only foisting fake cases against the opposition leaders, he said.

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