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‘We have become social outcasts’: Srinagar youth withdraw into shell after cyberbully calls them ‘dangerous infection carriers’

rumour


Srinagar: Two old city youth have withdrawn into a shell after a voice message claiming that they are suffering from a disease more dangerous than COVID, became viral in Kashmir.

Police have taken a cognizance and are looking for the miscreant in the 1.02-minute audio message.

 

A miscreant can be heard naming two youth from Safa Kadal. In the audio, he calls for their immolation, to what he called, to prevent the infection from spreading.

“It came as a rude shock for me and my family when we heard the audio. Since then, I am getting calls from my relatives and friends,” said one of the youths named in the audio.

Coming from a poor family, the youth works as a salesman at a readymade garment shop in Lal Chowk.

He said his family too is facing problems due to the rumours being spread on social media.

“Not just me, my family is also being questioned by the people. We are already facing a lot of problems due to the pandemic. The audio has aggravated the situation,” he said.

Another youth said they are facing social ostracization after the audio went viral. “I am being singled out in my locality as people have started believing the rumor. Just that COVID has affected a lot of people, they feel the audio message might be true,” he said.

He said they are not able to identify the voice in the audio clip and have sought help from the public to trace the miscreant. “The voice in the audio clip doesn’t seem familiar. We have sought help from locals to trace them,” he said.

 A senior police officer said they are looking into the issue and trying to identify the miscreant. “The audio clip came to our notice and we are looking into the issue,” he said.