A two-year-old video of a Pakistani fruit seller spray painting grapes red has gone viral on social media with a caption falsely claiming that the clip was recorded at Lonavala, a hill station near Mumbai.
The clip is going viral in India with a communal claim. A Hindi message with the video urges people to share it widely to help shut the Muslim vendor's shop.
The viral video is part of a larger narrative where similar videos have been shared calling for an economic boycott of Muslims in India. The trend has caught on after the Delhi riots that shook the national capital last month.
The message reads 'Mouth-watering lychees are being sold in Lonavala (Mumbai-Pune highway) these days. Before eating these lychees, watch the video and make it viral so that this Muslim vendor's business takes a toll.'
(Hindi: लोनावला (मुंबई पुणे हाईवे पर) मे आजकल लिची खुब बिकने आई है। लिची को देखते ही मुह मे पाणी आ जाता है। खाने से पहले ईस विडीओ को देखो। और आगे इतना वायरल करो के इस मुस्लिम मुल्लेकी दुकान दारी पुरी पुरी बंद हो जाय।)
The video can be viewed below and its archived version can be accessed here.
The video, shared from several Facebook profiles, shows a fruit vendor spraying paint over a bunch of green grapes to give it a dark red look as the red ones sell for higher price, all the while being filmed on a mobile camera. At one point in the video, we can hear a voice saying, "Look people, how this (the fruit) is being colored to fool us." The person then goes ahead and takes a can of spray paint kept near the fruits, and adds, "See, this causes cancer and we are consuming this. Are you ashamed? Will you feed the same to your kids? Do you have a conscience?"
BOOM ran a reverse image search on a screenshot from the viral video and found several news reports from 2018 sharing the same clip.
According to these reports, the incident is from Afzalpur village in Mirpur of Pakistan. A British tourist Layla Khan, along with her cousin, had recorded the video and shared it online. As per the reports, Khan's aunt had fallen ill after consuming grapes from the local fruit market and so she, along with her cousin, went ahead to find out about the activities going on in the market.
Journalist Tanveer Mann had tweeted about the incident with a link to her story on September 10, 2018.
Layla Khan, from Birmingham, caught the street vendor spray painting green grapes red behind a stall while visiting family in Pakistan. https://t.co/KAba7IWkel— Tanveer Mann (@tanny_mann) September 10, 2018