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Be on guard against spread of fake news, says TMC

Be on guard against spread of fake news, says TMC
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Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress on Tuesday urged people of Bengal to be on guard against the spread of fake news alleging it was being done to hide Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's success in implementing various social welfare projects.

Minister of State for Women and Child Development and Social Welfare Sashi Panja said doctored videos are being circulated to create confusion among people, to mislead them and malign the image of the state government.

Panja, who was speaking to the media, did not, however, name anyone or specify any instance.

In the last few weeks, several fake news and videos related to Bengal have gone viral on social media. An old video of Ranaghat Station of September 23, 2018, is being circulated on WhatsApp and Facebook in which a large gathering has been shown, which actually happened almost two years back on that day because of some examination.

This apart, a house had been damaged in a bomb explosion at Galsi, Purba Bardhaman. In reality, there is no such incident.

A video from Haryana is being circulated as that of West Bengal on WhatsApp and FB with a mischievous message.

The Trinamool Congress had raised serious objections against fake videos. However, legal action is being initiated by the West Bengal Police.

"One should find out who is spreading the fake news," pointed out Panja.

She also stated that the Mamata Banerjee government has taken various measures for the welfare of women.

After Banerjee came to power in 2011, the State Policy Empowerment of Women (to strengthen women for social, political and education empowerment) was introduced in 2012.

In 2016, the state government started distributing the Swastha Sathi cards to a female member of the families. With the help of this card, the woman's parents (including her in-laws) can avail the treatment. About 7.5 crore people have benefitted from the Swastha Sathi scheme already.

In 2018, the Marriage Assistance Scheme (Rupashree Scheme) was introduced to provide a one-time financial grant of Rs 25,000 for economically stressed families at the time of their daughter's marriage. Around 5,98,000 girls have benefitted through this scheme. The Mamata Banerjee government has also spent Rs 1,400 crore for the Rupashree Scheme as of now.

Diamond Harbour Women's University has also been set up in the state.

Of the 88 fast track courts for speedy trial of cases of crime against women 46 are run by women, she said adding these feats by the state are sought to be obfuscated by those hatching false propaganda.

The state has also set up 12 waiting homes for pregnant mothers in remote areas where they can be sheltered before delivery and given all maternity care, she said.

To a question on the challenge posed by BJP to Trinamool Congress in the coming Assembly polls, Panja said: "BJP's vote share has consistently declined in different states in recent elections, including Bihar. It shows BJP's support base is on the decline."

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