Fake news alert! Fake govt notification announcing five-day holiday for Eid under government scanner

A fake government “notification” – purportedly issued by the West Bengal finance department – announcing a five-day holiday during the upcoming Eid has been doing the rounds since yesterday.

The state security advisor, Surajit Kar Purakayastha said that the government has learnt about this fake document being forwarded through social media and officials are trying to trace its origin. “We will take action,” he told The Bengal Story. “There are some elements trying to spread fake news for some time. We will trace the origin and take firm action,” he said.

The fake “notification” document, which shows it has been issued by the West Bengal Finance Department’s Audit Branch, reads, “In order to celebrate Eid festival, which falls on 12 June to 15 June, 2018, in a befitting manner, the Governor is pleased to declare State Government holiday on 12 to 15 June, 2018, in addition to 16 June, 2018 which has already been notified as a public holiday.” There is the West Bengal government’s “Biswa Bangla” logo on top of the page to claim “authenticity”. The fake document has also been signed by an official of the state finance department.

According to those “forwarding” the photograph of the note through WhatsApp, “this announcement means that like Durga Puja, the Mamata Banerjee government is also announcing a five day holiday on Eid”.

Communal riots to election manifesto, demonstration outside Lalbazar to the panchayat elections – there has been a surge of fake news on social media in West Bengal in recent times.

There have been arrests for spreading fake news, but that hasn’t acted as any deterrent. The Bengal government is now working on a law to take strong action against spreading fake news.

Recently, in April this year, even the BJP’s panchayat election manifesto contained images of desecrated idols that turned out to be photographs taken from clashes in Bangladesh in 2013 and 2016.


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