Saying that “some friends” had spread “rumours” about his health on social media, Union Home Minister Amit Shah clarified on Saturday that he was “completely healthy” and not suffering from any illness. He said he was occupied with managing the Covid-19 crisis.
“In the past few days, some friends have spread rumours about my health through social media. So much so, that people have tweeted praying for my death… I want to make it clear today that I am completely healthy and not suffering from any illness,” Shah said in a written statement in Hindi, which was posted on his Twitter handle.
मेरे स्वास्थ्य की चिंता करने वाले सभी लोगों को मेरा संदेश। pic.twitter.com/F72Xtoqmg9
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) May 9, 2020
“The country is battling a global pandemic in the form of Covid-19, and, being the Home Minister of the country, I have been busy till late hours of the night. Hence, I was unable to pay any heed to these rumours,” he said.
“When it was brought to my notice, I thought let these people enjoy their imaginative thinking. But in the last two days, lakhs of party workers and well-wishers have expressed concern. And I cannot ignore their concern,” Shah said.
He said that according to Hindu belief, rumours about ill-health make a person healthier. “So, I hope that these people will stop indulging in such useless talk and do something worthwhile, while letting me do my job,” Shah said.
He said he did not hold any grudge against those who spread the rumours. “I want to thank all party workers and well-wishers for showing concern about my well-being. I have no ill will or grudge against those who spread these rumours,” he said.
Meanwhile, BJP president J P Nadda condemned the “inhuman” comments about Shah’s health. “Making inhuman comments about the health of Home Minister Amit Shah is extremely condemnable. Spreading such misleading remarks about anyone’s health shows the mindset of people doing so. I strongly condemn it and pray to God to grant them good sense,” he tweeted.
In Gujarat, four persons have been arrested for spreading misinformation about Shah’s health, police said. The accused have been identified as Sarfaraz Abdulmajid Meman (40) and Firozkhan Jaferkhan Pathan (48) from Ahmedabad, and Sajjadali Bachubhai Nayani (56) and Sirajhusain Mohammadali Virani (50) from Bhavnagar.
In a statement, the Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch said the accused “created a fake identity on Twitter of Shah, posted fake information on his health and circulated its screenshot on WhatsApp to create panic”.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Deepan Bhadran said a case has been registered under IPC Section 419 (cheating by personation), Section 54 of the Disaster Management Act (punishment for false warning), and Sections 66 C (identity theft) and 66 D (cheat by personation using computer resource) of the Information Technology Act.