As Hindus are about to celebrate Diwali this year, a viral message claiming that China is sending special firecrackers and lights to India to cause asthma and eye diseases has gone viral on the Internet. The message, which is majorly being shared on WhatsApp, asks people to be aware and not use these Chinese products.
Issued in the name of Vishwajit Mukherjee, a Senior Investigating Officer of the Union Ministry for Home Affairs (MHA), the reads, “According to intelligence, since Pakistan cannot attack India directly, it has demanded China to take revenge on India. China has filled firecrackers with special types of firecrackers, which are toxic to carbon monoxide gas, to spread asthma in India. Apart from this, in India, special lightning decorative lights are also being made for developing eye diseases. Paro has been used in large quantities, please be aware this Diwali.”
However, the Press Information Bureau of India on 18 October dismissed the claims and said that the message was fake. The government’s fact check handle said that no such information has been issued by the MHA.
“In a fake message being sent in the name of the Ministry of Home Affairs, it is being claimed that China is sending special types of firecrackers and decorative lights to India to cause asthma and eye diseases. No such information has been given by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Black small square Please do not share such fake messages,” PIB Fact Check tweeted.
Delhi imposes ban on firecrackers
In a related development related to firecrackers, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has imposed a complete ban on the busting and sale of firecrackers in the national capital till 1 January 2022. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced a prohibition on firecrackers earlier this month, calling it “essential to save lives.” Last year, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had imposed a complete ban on the use or sale of all likes of firecrackers in the NCR from 9 November to 30 November.