A video showing a heated debate between residents of a village in Manori- a hamlet off the Mumbai mainland- is being shared on WhatsApp with a false claim that the video shows residents confronting civic officials after an organ harvesting racket was busted. BOOM found that the village has reported only 4 cases of COVID-19, one of whom has recovered and has not reported any deaths.
Manori village which is connected to the Mumbai mainland through the Mira-Bhayander stretch falls under the purview of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). A faster way to access the village is through a 15-minute ferry ride from Marve jetty in the suburb of Malad.
In the video, a crowd is seen surrounding civic and police officials. The officials had reached the village to convince the positive patients and their neighbours to quarantine themselves. The civic officials also requested to transfer the COVID-19 patients to the BMC hospitals that are treating COVID-19 patients. Instead, the villagers protested this move. BOOM corroborated the sequence of events by speaking to two different officials from the BMC.
The caption with the video, however, tells a different story. It discusses that the family of a person who died from COVID-19 found many of the person's organs missing after they received the body. Two separate videos of the incident are viral with this caption in English, Hindi and Marathi.
The English caption reads, "Video from Manori village Malad west people protest against corona false cases. When the villagers forcefully got the Corona dead body and opened it, they found many organs missing. That is why the villagers decided that they will not allow anybody to be taken from the village. This is a true story from Manori village. (Translated from:Corona ki dead body jab gaon wale zabardasti lekar aaye to khol kar dekha to jism k parts ghayeb the. isliye ab gao walon decide kiya ke kisi ko nahi le jane denge ye ek sachchai hai.Manori gaon ki) BOOM received the video with this caption on its WhatsApp helpline.
Facebook pages of Bharatsatya News which has over 15 thousand followers and Citylive TV Channel with over a thousand followers also shared the videos with these claims. The latter even claimed that their reporter covered the incident.
Another Facebook user posted two more videos about the same incident. Despite replies pointing out that the claim in the caption was incorrect, the videos were still online.
What Actually Transpired
Manori village reported three new cases of COVID-19 a few days ago. According to the area's corporator Geeta Bhandari, the ruckus was due to the residents not complying with the BMC officials who came to check on these patients. "The police had to be called as the neigbours of the positive patients refused to quarantine. That is why the police had to be involved," Bhandari said.
Two of the three positive patients are now in an institutional quarantine facility in the suburb of Malad while one is under home quarantine. One person who had tested positive earlier has now recuperated.
Manori village falls under the jurisdiction of Gorai Police Station. Senior Inspector Sanjeev Narkar told BOOM that the viral message was false and baseless. "Police officials accompanied civic officials as the residents were against moving away from their homes for isolation."
Narkar further highlighted the dead body management protocol issued by the BMC. "Dead bodies are wrapped. Most family members who are under self-quarantine are not even collecting dead bodies. Where is this claim of an organ racket even coming from?", said Narkar.
Manori village is civically under the P/North ward that covers Malad which has reported 5917 cases as of July 14, the second highest in the city.
Claim Review : Coronavirus dead body was missing organs in Manori, Malad
Claimed By : WhatsApp
Fact Check : False