Mangalore, August 18: On August 17, a rumour claiming that the death of a student of National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NITK) Suratkal about three weeks ago had been caused by Ebola virus, had spread like wildfire through Whatsapp messages. Some mischievous elements had originated this rumour and Dakshina Kannada district health officer has clarified it. Shrijit from Kadur, a second MTech student at NITK has breathed his last three weeks ago due to viral fever and lung infection.
The health officer at NITK confirmed that, a student of Ethiopian origin has been pursuing PhD course at NITK and he has not visited his country since the last two years. NITK officials have also termed the spread of above rumour as baseless and unfortunate. They feel that this scare has been let lose with specific aim of defaming this institution of national repute by unscrupulous elements.
A number of people including media persons contacted health officials and NITK personnel after Ebola scare was spread through Whatsapp on Sunday. The health officials immediately contacted NITK officials and enquired regarding this.
It is gathered that NITK institution, which has a national stature, has students from different countries including Sudan, Ethiopia, and Nigeria. The student from Ethiopia mentioned in the above rumour, had visited his native country two years ago, when Ebola virus was unknown. Ebola had acquired the status of epidemic during the last two months and hence there is no ground to point fingers of suspicion at this Ethiopian student, they said.
People are getting irritated at the efforts being made by perverted individuals to spread fake photos, project catastrophes which have happened in far off countries being happened in their surroundings and also for misusing Whatsapp application. All of these come under cyber crimes which is a punishable offence.