The nation on Friday night was gripped in false rumours of salt scarcity, triggering a chaos amongst people rushing to buy the essential commodity before the prices surge.
While at some places the salt has been believed to be sold as high as Rs 700 per kg, in other places like Delhi the tensions escalated to stone pelting and worse. Newsnation pleads you to not believe in these rumours and contribute to calm.
Tension prevailed in southeast Delhi’s Jamia Nagar area as residents hurled stones at police buses amid rumours of shortage of salt and hike in prices of the essential commodities.
As the rumour spread, scores of people stepped out on the Kalindi Kunj-Jamia Nagar road and vandalised buses, a senior police officer said.
They also threw stones at the police buses which were rushed to the spot to control the situation. Four policemen have been reportedly injured in the incident, he said.
Also read: Rumours of salt shortage trigger panic in UP, Delhi and Mumbai; angry protests in national capital
While police were trying to calm things down, a rumour spread that a trader was shot at during a fight due to the shortage of salt, he said.
Police placated the residents and brought the situation under control. Additional force from a neighbouring police stations was also called in, he said.
A large number of police personnel are deployed in the area in view of the incident.
Similar reports of panic and chaos poured in from Uttar Pardesh, Uttrakhand and even Maharashtra where authorities are continuously trying to dispel rumours of salt scaricity or any surge in prices of essential commodities.
National Capital Delhi
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia on Friday night plead people to remain calm and help identify the person who are contributing to the rumours and chaos.
“Some people are spreading rumours that there is shortage of salt and sugar, this is false,” Kejriwal tweeted.
Sisodia informed the public: There is no shortage of salt in Delhi. Food supply officer and SDM are taking stock in the markets. Salt is available everywhere. Do not fall for rumours.
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Amid rumours of scarcity of salt, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday said there is no dearth of the commodity and it was adequately available across the state.
He also appealed to the people not to pay attention to such rumours and avoid panic buying.
The Chief Minister also directed the Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary (Food) and all District Magistrates to take action against those indulge in hoarding, black marketing and creating artificial scarcity of the commodity, and warned strict action against them.
His directions came following rumours of black marketing of essential commodities like salt in the state after shopkeepers refused to provide change when offered with higher denomination notes.
In Moradabad, there were reports of panicked customers flocking to market as rumours flew thick and fast that salt has gone out of shelves and shopkeepers are selling at a premium.
Circle Officer Kotwali area Poonam Mishra said police has been sent to Katra Naj from where reports of black marketing had emanated.
She said complaints will be filed against some shopkeepers for allegedly triggering the rumours of salt shortage and charging premium for providing essential commodities.
Police in Mumbai on Friday stepped in to dispel rumours about steep hike in prices of essential commodities including salt.
“Rumours about price hike are doing rounds. These are baseless,” police spokesperson DCP Ashok Dudhe said.
Mumbai police control room was inundated with frantic calls from people wanting to know if the prices had really skyrocketed.
There were rumours about some shop owners selling salt at Rs 700 per kg in eastern suburbs.
After demonetisation of high currency notes of Rs 1000/500, people are facing shortage of cash. Rumours were spread about shortage of salt and sugar, police said.
Some shop owners in eastern suburbs took advantage of the situation, police said.
Shop owners from Govandi, Shivajinagar, Bainganwadi, Mankhurd, Antop hill were allegedly selling salt at higher rates. Some citizens contacted police control room and provided information.
Police teams visited these shops to prevent such sales.
It also appealed to Mumbaikars via Twitter not to believe rumours, saying there is no shortage of salt or any other necessary commodity nor is there any price hike.
Please do not believe in any rumours. There is no shortage of #salt or any other necessary commodity nor any price hike information.— Mumbai Police (@MumbaiPolice) November 11, 2016
A police official said the rumours may have originated from Uttar Pradesh.