A Goa journalist was detained for allegedly publishing a false news report about the health of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is being treated in Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospita. Several media reports have claimed that Parrikar has pancreatitis.
Inspector General of Police Jaspal Singh said a case has been registered in connection with the matter and an investigation was underway. “We have to know the origin of the message which was being circulated,” Singh said. “We are going through the chain of messages.”
Harish Volvoikar works for a WhatsApp-based news service and online news portal Goa Junction that covers local events across Goa. Earlier on Monday, the journalist was stopped from entering the Assembly. “I am not being allowed to enter the Assembly complex, arbitrarily,” Volvoikar had said. “I have the required security pass to enter the Assembly complex as I have been for the last few years.”
The action against the journalist comes after BJP leader Sunil Desai filed a police complaint against unidentified people for allegedly quoting him in false reports about Parrikar’s health.
On Sunday, authorities at Lilavati Hospital said the chief minister was “responding well to treatment”. The hospital issued a statement saying that various “malicious and misleading reports/rumours are floating around in the electronic/print media with regards to his health”.
The Budget session of the Goa Assembly has been shortened to four days on account of Parrikar’s ill health. The budget will be presented on February 22, Speaker Pramod Sawant said. The Budget session was scheduled to begin on Monday, and was supposed to conclude on March 22.