A man in India has been arrested and accused of rumor-mongering for tweeting that his dying grandfather needed oxygen in a cruel illustration of the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic in the South Asian nation. Shashank Yadav wrote, “Need oxygen cylinder asap @SonuSood Plz sir,” tagging Bollywod actor Sonu Sood. Yadav was subsequently taken into custody in Uttar Pradesh and charged with “spreading misleading information with intent to cause... fear or alarm” for his “false tweet.” Local police replied to the tweet and said that Yadav’s 88-year-old maternal grandfather had died of a heart attack Monday, not COVID-19, and did not need oxygen. The state’s MP Smiti Imrani said she attempted to contact Yadav. Critics have accused Uttar Pradesh’s prime minister Yogi Adityanath, a right-wing ally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, of ignoring the severity of the coronavirus pandemic. He claims none of the state’s hospitals are short on oxygen despite a shortage that has plagued much of the country.
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