A 53-year-old man from Agra was arrested on Friday for allegedly falsely claiming in a Facebook post that 19 employees of a news channel in Noida have tested positive for coronavirus, police said.
A case has been filed against the man, who is a resident of Agra's West Arjun Nagar, under the National Disaster Management Act (NDMA), the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act, the police said.
"A complaint was lodged by an employee of a Noida-based TV news channel in this regard at the Phase II police station on Thursday. The complaint said that a Facebook post has been made by the accused which is maligning the channel's image and spreading fear among its employees," senior police officer Harish Chander said.
"An investigation was taken up in which the points made in the complaint were found true. Later the accused was arrested from his residence in Agra," he said.
The senior police officer said the accused had asked people to "stay alert" of the news channel's employees wherever they live.
"This incorrect information had led to a feeling of insecurity among common people, which is punishable under the Epidemic Diseases Act," Mr Chander said.
The accused will soon be produced before a local court for further proceedings, according to police.