On May 5, IAS officer Rajiv Kumar Gupta announced that “[in] the entire AMC [Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation] area, all shops and home delivery services except milk and medicine shall remain closed for seven days starting from May 7 at 6 am”. Gupta is the special officer tasked by the Gujarat government to supervise and guide AMC in its efforts to contain and manage coronavirus outbreak in the city. He also announced the deployment of paramilitary forces to manage the situation on the ground.
Soon after, several users on WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter began sharing a message claiming that Mumbai and Pune will be under military lockdown for a period of 10 days and only milk and medicine willbe available. The viral message reads, “EntireMumbaiandpunewillbeunderMilitarylockdownfor10daysstartsfromSaturday. So please stock everything. Groceries vegetables. City is going to hand over Army. Only milk and medicine willbe available. *MAHARASHTRA CM UDDHAV THACKERAY TO ADDRESS STATE AT 8PM TODAY.”
Entire Mumbai and pune will be under Military lockdown for 10 days starts from Saturday. So please stock everything.
Groceries vegetables. City is going to hand over Army.
Only milk and medicine will be available. *MAHARASHTRA CM UDDHAV THACKERAY TO ADDRESS STATE AT 8PM TODAY
— விமல் (@Thirumu58176300) May 8, 2020
For the past few days, there is a rumour that the Army will be deployed in Mumbai and there will be a lockdown and all shops will be closed. What is the need for the army? Whatever I have done so far, is after taking you into confidence.
— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) May 8, 2020
I request Mumbaikars to not believe in any rumours about the army being deployed in Mumbai or essential supplies being withheld. Please trust information only from official sources and do not circulate any unverified message #BustFakeNews
— CP Mumbai Police (@CPMumbaiPolice) May 8, 2020
Press Information Bureau Maharashtra also tweeted refuting the claims made in the viral message.
Claim: A #WhatsApp forward says there’ll be a military lockdown in Mumbai for 10 days, starting from Saturday#PIBFactCheck: Message is #Fake. No Army/Navy personnel are being deployed for maintaining law and order in the city @email@example.com/mwcetEsas1
— PIB in Maharashtra 🇮🇳 #MaskYourself 😷 (@PIBMumbai) May 8, 2020
The false message is therefore viral on social media claiming that Mumbai and Pune will be under military lockdown where essential items and services will not be accessible.