A student has been granted bail by a court in Kashmir after he was accused of spreading a false rumor about deaths due to the polio vaccine. A prosecuting officer pleaded that the student, Irshad Ahmad, should not be given bail and that the offense should be punishable by either death or life imprisonment. After hearing the case, a judge concluded that the police failed to complete their investigation within the required two weeks, and told the accused not to leave the territory of Kashmir while out on bail.
Ahmad posted the rumor on his Facebook page on January 17, when thousands of parents were taking their children to clinics to receive oral polio immunizations. The accused wrote that “reports coming [in] that [the] polio vaccine used today was expired or toxic, huge number of children got fever, [and] even some death rumors circulating around.” After hearing the rumor, hundreds of frantic parents flooded the city’s healthcare centers seeking answers.
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