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The office of Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla confirmed on Wednesday (May 4, 2022) that a false WhatsApp account had been set up in his name, and that the situation had been reported to the appropriate authorities.

"Some criminals have created a bogus account in my name, complete with a profile photo, and have been sending messages to MPs and others from phone numbers 7862092008, 9480918183, and 9439073870. The incident has been reported to the appropriate authorities. Please disregard calls/texts from these and other numbers and notify my office "The Speaker sent out a tweet.

The Odisha Police Department has detained three people in the state for alleged ties to cyber criminals who constructed the bogus Lok Sabha Speaker's WhatsApp alias.

According to legislative sources familiar with the development, the trio had sold the gang pre-activated SIM cards, one of which was used to construct the phoney WhatsApp account by utilising Birla's picture, which was available in the public domain.

A person impersonating Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu sent mails to people, including VIPs, asking for financial assistance last month. After that, his office notified the Ministry of Home Affairs.

"Around 1,500 mosques and 1,300 temples in the state have been granted permission to use loudspeakers" (excluding Mumbai). More than 2,300 persons have been subjected to preventative action. On the 3rd and 4th of May, Maharashtra Police issued a notice under section 149 CrPC to about 7000 people," Maharashtra Police said Wednesday.

150 MNS employees have been arrested for inciting 'communal animosity.'

Meanwhile, 150 Maharashtra Navnirman Sena Party workers were arrested in Maharashtra's Nashik region for causing "communal animosity," according to local police officials.

The arrests are part of the state police's 'Preventive steps' to ensure law and order in the wake of MNS chief Raj Thackeray's call for the Hanuman Chalisa to be played over a loudspeaker outside mosques.

"So far, 150 MNS workers have been arrested in Nashik for inciting communal strife. Actions are being taken against those who are participating in such activities as a preventative measure. To maintain law and order, police have been stationed in all sensitive areas "Nashik's Inspector General of Police, BG Shekhar Patil, stated on Wednesday.