Kochi: The Kerala police on Saturday arrested naturopathy practitioner Jacob Vadakkanchery for allegedly spreading false and misleading information about the preventive measures taken by the state to check the spread of leptospirosis in the state.
The Crime Branch wing of the police arrested Vadakkanchery from his clinic at Champakkara near Thripunithura.
Vadakkanchery was booked on Monday after state health minister K K Shylaja asked DGP Loknath Behera to urgently take action against him.
Controlling leptospirosis is one of the biggest challenges the state is facing in the aftermath of the August floods.
As part of the efforts to rein in the disease, the Health Department has been distributing preventive medicines extensively, and has also been creating widespread public awareness about the disease. The department has also evolved a preventive protocol, and has issued a high alert in all districts.
"It is at this moment of crisis that Jacob Vadakkanchery has unleashed a baseless social media campaign questioning the efficacy of the state's preventive measures,” an official statement from the Health Department had said.
Through a series of posts, and a 38-minute video, on his Facebook page, Vadakkanchery had questioned the suitability of Doxycycline, the leptospirosis preventive used in the state. “Doxycycline may kill you,” one of his posts reads.
Even during Nipah...
Vadakkanchery is not new to scare-mongering. At the peak of the Nipah scare, he had attempted to thwart the Heath Department's fight-back. Then, he said it were not fruit bats but pesticides sprayed on food items that had caused the fever. He even claimed it was not Nipah.
"What nonsense is the health department saying? It’s a rare virus spread by fruit-eating bats? Medical mafia is creating all this. They say leptospirosis spreads through rat's urine, they say dengue is caused by mosquitoes. They are all lies, if it were so, then why don’t people living under unhygienic conditions on the road side, contract these diseases? What the Health Department must check is what kind of food the patients ate. Did they consume stale food, especially non-veg food? Then they have to check what kind of pesticides were used on these animals that were consumed. Pesticides can cause new kind of diseases," Jacob said on Facebook.