New Delhi: An FIR has been registered against Tamil actor and former newsreader S. Varadharajen, also known as ‘T.V.’ Varadharajen, after he put up a video claiming that there is a shortage of beds in Chennai hospitals.
This comes just a day after Tamil Nadu Health Minister C. Vijaya Baskar warned of severe action against those spreading rumours and creating panic.
In the viral video clip, an emotional Varadharajen shared the ordeal of his close friend who had developed severe breathing problems, and yet could not manage to find a hospital bed in Chennai.
“Every big hospital and government hospital that the friend’s family contacted had said that there were no beds available. Despite reaching out to senior government officials, they couldn’t get him admitted to a hospital,” said the actor in the video.
Same story from coming in from lots of people I know.
No beds. No space . VIP? rich? no matter. Still no bed.
All over chennai, corona wards in both GH and private hospitals are full. Chennai now facing what Italy went through in March.
Same story in Delhi also. pic.twitter.com/NvwW3zRUwB
— Kasturi Shankar (@KasthuriShankar) June 8, 2020
Tamil Nadu govt denies allegations of bed shortage
However, the State Health Minister Baskar denied all the allegations made by the actor in the video Monday. He claimed that Tamil Nadu has about 75,000 hospital beds to admit Covid-19 patients and in Chennai alone, there are about 5,000 beds.
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Baskar had also warned that the government will take action against the actor for creating panic by falsifying information against the government under the grounds of the Epidemic Diseases Act.
On Tuesday, an FIR was lodged following a complaint from the Director of Preventive Medicine and Public Health in Teynampet. The Central Crime Branch (CCB) has booked Varadharajen under sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 505(1)(b)(spreading misinformation with intent to cause fear or alarm to the public), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code and provisions of Epidemic Diseases Act and Disaster Management Act.
Varadharajen later released another video clarifying that the earlier video was only for a group of 25 close people, members of his theatre troupe, to whom he had forwarded the video in a personal capacity to spread awareness about Covid-19 and that he never thought it would go viral.
He also appreciated the central and the state government’s efforts in tackling the coronavirus pandemic.
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