Referring to a story from April 26 where a family was quarantined for simply talking to their COVID-19 affected relative over the phone, a freelance journalist in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Zubair Ahmed, posted a tweet questioning the authorities. His question was simply asking a “why” for the step taken while tagging the authorities in the post. Also Read - Covid-19 Hospitalization: Doctor Viswesvaran Balasubramanian Explains What to Expect

Taking to his Twitter handle, Zubair had tweeted, “Can someone explain why families are placed under home quarantine for speaking over phone with Covid patients? @MediaRN_ANI @Andaman_Admin (sic).” What followed was an immediate summoning by the police following which he was arrested from coronavirus red zone area under sections 188, 269, 270 and 505(1) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and kept in police custody overnight. He was released on bail after being produced in front of a court. Also Read - Coronavirus a Living Organism, Has Right to Live: Ex-Uttarakhand CM Trolled on Twitter For His Bizarre Remark

The police said that Zubair was arrested for his “inciting, false and instigating tweet” and asking “uncomfortable questions.” In his defense, Zubair said that he would have gotten in touch with the authorities over the phone directly had they not been busy. He told The Print, “The local officials only entertain queries on Twitter till the time they are comfortable. If you ask questions that aren’t at their level of convenience they accuse you of rumour mongering.”

Expressing his concern over the panic created due to home quarantining of people simply for a phone call, Zubair said, “They don’t understand that if they carry on with this attitude, people will never come out and identify themselves for the Covid-19 test. How will they contain the virus like this? Home quarantining people for 28 days only on the basis of their call records has only led to panic.”