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Alt News waters down man spitting on fruits he was selling, claims since the video is from February the ‘mentally unstable’ man is not trying to spread coronavirus

Contaminating food items is not only an unhygienic practice as claimed by Alt News, it is also a criminal offence, and even without Coronavirus pandemic, there is a risk of spreading diseases through such practices

So-called fact-checker website Alt News, which is infamous for absolving crimes committed by Muslim in an effort to gratify its fellow rabid Islamists, has yet again caught pants down publishing misinformation on social media.

The controversial propaganda site has yet again attempted to tone down the shocking incident in Madhya Pradesh where a Muslim fruit vendor was seen licking the fruits before selling it to the customer.

The Case:

In the video, dated February 16, a Muslim fruit vendor in Raisen, Madhya Pradesh, was seen arranging a variety of fruits on his cart in the middle of a market place. While arranging the fruits on the cart, the vendor was seen picking up the fruit one at a time. And each time he picked up a fruit to arrange in the cart, he first purposely licked his hand and then used the hand, smeared with his saliva, to pick up the fruits and re-arrange on his cart. He purposely contaminated the fruits which he would eventually be selling it to his customers.

The video posted by an individual named Bodhraj had stated that he along his friend was sitting in a local pan shop at around 5 pm on 16th February, when he saw the accused, Sheru Miyan (as he was referred to) deliberately contaminating the fruits with his saliva before he sold it to his customers. Bodhraj claims that he shot a video of Sheru indulging in this disgraceful act on his mobile phone and lodged a complaint with the police.

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Following this shocking incident, an FIR was filed against the Sheru Miyan in Madhya Pradesh under IPC 269 (Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease danger­ous to life) and 270 (Malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) on April 3, and he was arrested by police.

Soon, the daughter of the man in question came to her father’s rescue stating that the mental health of her father was not sound and he did it unintentionally. She claimed that her father was licking his fingers due to his habit of counting notes. She also suggested conspiracy behind releasing the two months old video now. She accused that the video has been released now due to the current situation.

However, the video was shot on February 16 during the critical time when the country was already ravaged with the outbreak of the Coronavirus. The viral video had caused a huge scare after it was revealed that many people were intentionally trying to spread the infection by indulging in such shameful acts.

The false claim by Alt News:

The ultra-left wing propaganda Alt News, which often tries absolve crimes committed by Muslims, jumped on to the scene to peddle its usual rhetoric on the incident. In a self-proclaimed fact-check report, the Alt News came to the rescue of the fruit seller by claiming that the incident dated back to February 16 and at a time the incident had occurred, the government had not yet declared the outbreak as a notified disaster. 

According to Alt News, the government declared the outbreak of the COVID-19 only on March 14. In other words, the Chinese pandemic, according to Alt News, only started on and after March 14 in the country.

Alt News report.

Continuing its illogical claims to absolve Khan’s act, Alt News stated that the first coronavirus positive case in Madhya Pradesh was reported only on March 20 while the act in which Khan was caught licking the fruits dated to at least a month back. Through such absurd observations, the self-proclaimed fact-checking portal declared that the video of Muslim vendor’s unhygienic handling of fruits falsely linked with spreading coronavirus.

Fact Check:

The defence put up by Alt News to declare that Khan was not indulging in any alleged activity of transmitting the virus comes from the claim that the Indian government had not declared the outbreak as a notified disaster only on March 14. However, in reality, ever since the Chinese coronavirus was notified as a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation on January 30, the Modi government has been on a war footing to spread awareness about the diseases and the necessary precautions to be taken to limit the spread.

To justify the horrific act by stating that there was no official declaration from the Modi government regarding the spread of COVID-19 in the country until March 14 is just farcical. According to Alt News, the COVID-19 only entered the country on March 14, as that was the day government of India had notified the spread of Chinese pandemic.

Alt News also says, “the vendor’s act was unarguably unhygienic however the issue has been grossly twisted on social media”, which is nothing but a gross underplaying of the incident. Contaminating food items is not only an unhygienic practice, it is also a criminal offence. The fruit vendor was booked under IPC 269 (Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease danger­ous to life) and 270 (Malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), which as existing sections of the Indian Penal Code. No matter whether there is an ongoing pandemic or not, what the man was doing was a serious crime.

Moreover, the daughter’s claim suggests that the family knew that the man was contaminating the fruits he was selling, and they still allowed him to sell food items. He may not have coronavirus as it had not spread to the town at that time, but he may have other diseases which he may be spreading to others, including ill people as fruits are often recommended as healthy food for ailing people.

Although it is true that the video was shot in February 16th, there is no proof that it was the only such incident. In fact, the daughter’s claim that her father is mentally unstable and he does it for the habit of counting notes, suggests that he has done it before, and done it after also, when the COVID-19 had spread to the area. Therefore, there is in fact a real risk of spreading the Chinese virus, along with any other pathogen he may be potentially infected with.

Just because the video is six weeks old, ‘fact-checker’ Alt News concluded that it was the single incident, while his own family’s comments suggest that he does it regularly.

The faulty ‘fact-checker’ Alt News, funded by anti-India elements, has a track record of pushing misinformation on social media platforms to push their ideological narrative.

Just weeks back, Alt News Director Nirjhari Sinha had caught sharing old unrelated images to express her disapproval of PM Modi’s decision to lock down the country. Ms Sinha had tweeted a photo of a seemingly destitute and homeless family with a caption “What is the PM’s message for them? Stay at home..don’t venture out!” to target PM Modi’s lockdown initiative. However, the image was not connected to the current lockdown but an image captured in 2016.

Alt News co-founder Pratik Sinha, who is otherwise known for stalking people on social media, had also caught sharing misinformation and lies about India’s readiness to fight Wuhan coronavirus to cast the Indian government in a bad light. 

Earlier, Alt News had also given a clean chit to anti-Hindu riots accused AAP leader Tahir Hussain and also Jamia rioters who had unleashed violence during the riots despite there was sufficient evidence to prove their culpability. With Alt News indulging in such third-rated propaganda, the promoters of the ultra-left wing portal had to face severe ridicule across social media platforms.

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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