PESHAWAR: Police in Peshawar has arrested 10 suspects for faking the illness and hospitalisation of schoolchildren in Mashokhel village and setting a hospital on fire to spread panic and misinformation about the ongoing countrywide polio campaign.
Nazar Muhammad was the first to fall into the police’s hands after videos of his started circulating on Twitter showing him standing in the medical complex, where the children from a local school were admitted with complaints of illness following administration of the anti-polio vaccine; Nazar was seen instructing the kids to “fall asleep” and pretend to be unconscious.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Peshawar Sahibzada Sajjad said that the school principal’s brother was among the other nine that were later arrested for damaging the property of the medical complex.
These suspects were arrested after being identified in videos. Two pistols and as many Kalashnikovs were also seized from their possession.
“A total 10 suspects have been arrested so far of which five have been nominated in the First Information Report (FIR). A case was registered against 12 people in total,” the SP added.
In the midst of the a 3-day anti-polio campaign, around 40 children from a school in Mashokhel village were brought to a hospital with complaints of diarrhea, nausea and headache. As the news of the children’s supposed illness spread like wildfire in Peshawar and nearby areas, panicked parents started rushing their children to hospitals.