Bengaluru: On Wednesday, Kannada news channel Public TV ran a special bulletin claiming Narendra Modi-led Union government has come up with an initiative of ‘Helicopter Money’, through which money will be airdropped from helicopters to every village amid the Covid-19 lockdown. Also Read - I am Fit and Fine. Here's My Report, Jitendra Ahwad Busts WhatsApp Fake News

The news bulletin ‘Helicopter Money – Helicopter nalli surithara Modi was broadcast on Wednesday at 8:30 PM. Also Read - Fake News Busted: Ratan Tata Has Not Written Any Viral Message About Economy in Times of COVID-19

“Not a loan. No interest. Currency notes will be airdropped to every village by helicopters,” read the misleading ticker on the Public TV.

After the programme aired, social media users were outraged at the misleading news content and urged the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to take action.

Soon after, PIB stepped in to bust the fake news and stated that the government was doing no such thing:

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and PIB sprung into action and asked the channel to take the content off air. A notice was also served to the channel fir airing fake news.

“That programme said Modi will drop money from helicopter. It was totally misleading and so many people in the villages are waiting and sitting outside,” Press Information Bureau Additional Director General Nagendra Swamy told IANS.

“On April 15, 2020, your news channel Public TV broadcast an item, Helicopter Money – ‘Helicopternalli surithara Modi’ at 8:30 p.m., which is false, mischievous and deliberate and clearly violates the broadcasting code and rules,” Swamy said in his notice.

He questioned the news channel why it was spreading false information, creating panic and social unrest when the whole country is fighting Covid-19.

“In view of the above serious violation of Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, and rules framed there under, you are hereby directed to show cause why your channel should not be taken out of air immediately,” said the notice.

The channel has been given ten days to reply to the notice.

(With IANS inputs)