An old video showing burqa-clad women sitting in a queue is viral on social media with false captions claiming that the women have lined up to hoard free ration being distributed by the government.
BOOM found that this 2020-video is from Muzzafarnagar, Uttar Pradesh and shows women who had lined up in front of a bank to withdraw the money credited in their Jan Dhan accounts by the Central government.
The video is viral against the backdrop of government's decision to provide 5 kg of free food grain to 80 crore people in May and June. According to news reports, the central government had decided to allocate 5 kg of free food grains per person to around 80 crore beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA). This allocation was over and above the NFSA food grains and would continue for the months of May and June 2021.
The viral video shows burqa-clad women sitting in a queue while maintaining social distancing.
Sudarshan News edtor-in-chief Suresh Chavhanke has shared the video with a Hindi caption which translates to 'Pay tax on time, watch the queue for free ration, recognize them and open your eyes'.
(Hindi: समय पर टैक्स भरो, फ़्री में राशन की क़तार देखो, पहचानों और आँखें खोलो....)
The video was also shared by Twitter user Renuka Jain with a Hindi caption translating to 'See the crowd getting free ration from the Government of India, see where your income tax is going'.
(Hindi: भारत सरकार से फ्री में राशन मिलने वाली भीड़ तो देखिए ,आपका इनकम टैक्स कहाँ जा रहा समझिए )
The video is viral on Facebook with similar claims.
A close look at the video makes its clear that it is shot in front of Bank of Baroda. At one point in the videos, the name of 'Guru Gobind Singh Public School, Gandhi Colony, Muzzafarnagar' appears which confirms that the video has been recorded in Muzzafarnagar, Western UP.
We did a keyword search with Hindi words 'मुज़्ज़फरनगर बैंक के बाहर मुस्लिम महिलाओ का भीड़' and found the same video uploaded on YouTube on April 17, 2020 with a Hindi headline which translates to 'In Muzzafarnagar's Gandhi colony there's a crowd of Muslim women...know what is the reason'.
(Hindi: मुजफ्फरनगर में गाँधी कॉलोनी में लगी है मुस्लिम महिलाओं की लम्बी लाइन...जानिये क्या है कारण.....?)
The description with the video says that the women had gathered in front of a branch of bank of Baroda in order to withdraw the Rs 500 credited to their Jan Dhan accounts by the government. There were rumours that if the money was not withdrawn, the amount would not be credited from next month.
BOOM found another video uploaded on the YouTube channel of News 18 India on April 20, 2020.
According to this report, women had come to the bank to withdraw the money from their Jan Dhan accounts because rumours had it that the money would not be credited if it was not withdrawn immediately. This rumour had created panic. However, bank officials made the beneficiaries follow social distancing and reassured them that the relief money would not be taken back.
According to a report published in The Economic Times on June 4, 2020 'to help the poor tide over the COVID-19 crisis, the government on March 26 announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 500 to be credited to women Jan Dhan account holders for the next three months starting from April.'
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