Andaman journalist arrested over a tweet questioning issues related to COVID-19

Then all hell seemed to break loose as Denis Giles, the editor-in-chief of Andaman Chronicle, said that four people from Bambooflat police station reached Ahmed’s place and told that he was summoned by the SP to answer some questions about his tweet to the Aberdeen police station, as per a report published by The News Minute.

An hour later, he was arrested under Section 51 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 (Punishment for obstruction) and Sections 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 270 (Malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 505(1)(b) (Whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement, rumor or report with intent to cause fear or alarm among the public) of the IPC, The News Minute report said.

He was later also booked under Section 54 (punishment for false warning) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

The tweet by Ahmed was reportedly based on the news report which stated that four members of a particular family in Haddo, a town in Andaman, was forced to observe home quarantine after one of the members rang up a relative who earlier tested for COVID-19. The phone call was just to enquire about the well-being of the relative, reports said.

While Ahmed did not mention the report in his tweet which was published in Andaman Chronicle on April 26, he raised the issue in his tweet on April 27. On the same day around 7 pm, Ahmed was arrested.