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Bengaluru Infosys sacks employee arrested for ‘sneeze, spread virus’ post on social media

After investigation, the IT services company has sacked the employee stating that Infosys has a ‘zero tolerance policy towards such acts’.

SNS | New Delhi |

An employee of the global software major Infosys has been arrested by the City Crime Branch (CCB) in Bengaluru for posting an objectionable content on social media urging people to “spread” Coronavirus.

Taking cognisance of the matter, the IT services company has sacked the employee stating that Infosys has a “zero tolerance policy towards such acts”.

The IT firm, in a tweet from its official handle, said, “Infosys has completed its investigation on the social media post by one of its employees and we believe that this is not a case of mistaken identity.”

“The social media post by the employee is against Infosys’ code of conduct and its commitment to responsible social sharing. Infosys has a zero tolerance policy towards such acts and has accordingly, terminated the services of the employee,” the statement added.

The employee identified as Mujeeb Mohammed, had allegedly written on Facebook asking people to “go out and sneeze with open mouth in public”.

“Let’s join hands, go out and sneeze with open mouth in public. Spread the virus (sic),” the post read.

Gaining overnight notoriety in the midst of ongoing global COVID-19 panic, Mohammed created a flutter on social media and in the office of his employer.

Before confirming that it was Mohammed who sent that tweet, Infosys said on Thursday, “We are deeply concerned with an inappropriate post being attributed to an Infosys employee. We strongly reaffirm our commitment to responsible social-sharing. Our preliminary enquiry, and discussions with our employee suggest that this could be a case of a mistaken identity.”

The company had, however, promised to investigate and confirmed on Friday that the tweeter was indeed one its own employees.

The CCB has arrested Mohammed under the IT act as well as sections 269 and 270 of the IPC for causing fear and panic in society.

“The person who put this post, saying people should go out and sneeze and spread the virus, has been detained. His name is Mujeeb and he works in a software company. A case has been registered,” said Sandeep Patil, Joint Commissioner (CCB, Bengaluru).

“A case has been registered against the person. Further investigation is underway,” he added.

There are 64 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Karnataka, with at least three deaths linked to virus; one of these – that of a 76-year-old man – was the first coronavirus death in the country.

Meanwhile, India witnessed the highest single-day jump with 149 new cases of Coronavirus, taking the tally to 873. Nineteen deaths have also been reported amidst the 21-day lockdown.