KATHMANDU: An 'emergency curfew notice' apparently from Nepal Government Security Portal was sent to a multitude of people on their phones in the wee hours of Monday- blowing their sleeps away. The notice, sent from the PSC which is generally understood as the acronym of Public Service Commission, says the government has issued an emergency curfew and "No Netizens are allowed to step out of the house starting immediately until further notice". The notice further claimed that the Armed Police Force is constantly monitoring air traffic and is working towards the neutralization of incoming threats on India-Nepal Borders. It was further relayed through the text message that the government requests the citizens to be updated with official sources and says "All services except for Hospitals are shut down until further notice." The message that was delivered after midnight till the early hours of Monday caused a lot of confusion among the people. Many of them started sharing screenshots of the message on social networking sites, joined by people in their networks affirming they too have received the same text. However, the Chief District Officer of Kathmandu Janakraj Dahal confirmed that the message is entirely fake and made-up. "The contents of the text message is absolutely false." He further urged people not to worry about the hoax. "People should not worry about such news. There is no possibility of issuing a curfew at the moment. Stay assured." Likewise, Spokesperson at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Chakra Bahadur Budha, also refuted the contents of the message. "The messages seem to have been circulated to NCell users. As of now we are launching an investigation into the origin of the message that was sent out under PSC's name." Majority of the receivers first thought that the government may have issued emergency curfew owing to the increasing Covid-19 cases in the capital. Later, many scrutinized the content to conclude that it is indeed a hoax and there is no truth to the statements. "On re-reading the message carefully, we saw multiple loopholes in it as well as the improbable situation of Nepal-India border hostility and Armed Police Force monitoring the air traffic," said Santosh Shahi, a resident of Kuleshwor. "The biggest indicator of the hoax message was the sender itself which is not remotely related to the national security of the country."
Fake 'emergency curfew' notice disseminated in wee hours of Monday
Published: 10:31 am Oct 19, 2020