A video showing policemen picking up currency notes lying on the road in Indore is being shared with a communal spin that they were thrown on purpose to spread Coronavirus.
Indore police told BOOM that the currency was not thrown intentionally and has been claimed by a delivery person who said the money had fallen from his pocket while cycling.
In the 1.18 minutes video, policemen can be seen picking up the notes using gloves and sticks and collecting them in a plastic bag, while passersby surround them.
The video is being shared with a caption in Hindi that reads, Single Source finds many innovative methods to spread virus. The new technique is throwing currency and Police will never be able to find you out !!'
Here 'single source' is a sarcastic reference to the Muslim community insinuating that they are spreading the COVID-19.
We searched with the same caption and found that the video was being shared with the false claim.
BOOM found news reports on the viral video that stated that the incident had taken place in Indore, Madhya Pradesh on April 16, 2020, when currency notes found lying unclaimed on the road triggered panic among locals.
Currency notes of Rs 500, Rs 200, Rs 100, Rs 50 and Rs 10 denominations were found strewn on the road in the middle-class locality, prompting residents to inform Indore Municipal Corporation, after which an IMC team and cops from Heera Nagar cordoned off the area and carefully collected each note reported Times Of India on April 17, 2020.
Cops wearing masks and gloves used sticks to pick up the money and seal them in plastic pouches as also seen in the viral video.
BOOM contacted Heera Nagar police station in-charge Rajeev Bhadoria who said that a person has come forward to claim the notes. Bhadoria said that a man identified as Ram Narendra Yadav approached the police after panic spread and informed them that the money was his. "We accessed CCTV footage of the incident and ascertained that the notes had fallen from the pocket of a man who delivers cooking gas cylinders, when he was cycling. The said person (Yadav) has come forward for possession of the notes, and we will be handing it to him after necessary procedure," he said.
The clip is the latest example of disinformation targeting Indian Muslims with a narrative that blames them for spreading the novel Coronavirus after several members of the Tablighi Jamaat - an Islamic sect - tested positive and were responsible for a spurt of cases in several states.
Madhya Pradesh has reported 1310 positive COVID-19 cases and 69 deaths while writing this article. Follow BOOM's LIVE blog for recent updates: Coronavirus LIVE Update: India Reports 14,378 Cases, 480 Deaths
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