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Muslim Youth Held for Injecting Watermelons With HIV? Baseless Claim, Fake Story

Dr Ingale says that it is not possible to contract AIDS through infected food and water.

Published
WebQoof
3 min read
Muslim Youth Held for Injecting Watermelons With HIV? Baseless Claim, Fake Story
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A screenshot, purportedly that of Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar, has gone viral to claim that Lucknow police has arrested some Muslim youth for trying to sell watermelon injected with AIDS-causing Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

However, we found that claim was fabricated. We reached out to Dainik Bhaskar's Lucknow correspondent and he told us that the news organisation has not put out any such report. He also told us that the same screenshot was viral last year as well.

We also spoke with a doctor and found that HIV cannot be transmitted by water or food as it does not live long outside the human body.

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CLAIM

The headline of the news article said, "एड्स संक्रमित इंजेक्शन लगाकर बेच रहे थे फल".

The story went on to say that, "On the basis of some secret information, the Lucknow Police today caught youths of a particular community who sold watermelons and melons on the roadside. After initial interrogation, the youth have admitted that they wanted to infect their customers with AIDS by injecting the fruits with HIV."

It also said the these melons were being sold in Hindu-dominated areas and added that the police arrested eight people.

An archive of the post can be found here.

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

The same claim was shared by several social media users on Facebook, some dating back to 2020, archives of some can be found here and here.

We also received the claim as a query on our WhatsApp tipline.

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WHAT WE FOUND OUT

We conducted a keyword search for the headline mentioned in the viral screenshot but were not able to find any report on Dainik Bhaskar with that headline.

We also looked at original reports on Dainik Bhaskar's website and mobile application and noticed that the headline font and the colour scheme used in the viral image were different from that the news organisation uses.

Comparison of the viral screenshot with original screenshots.

(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

Next, we then reached out to Aditya Tiwari, a Dainik Bhaskar correspondent from Lucknow, and he told us that the screenshot was fake. He also added that the image was viral last year as well.

None of the senior police officials in Lucknow whom we contacted, had any details of any such case.

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To find out if it is possible to spread AIDS by injecting the HIV virus into watermelons, we reached out to Dr Farah Ingale at Fortis Hiranandani Hospital.

Ingale, the director of internal medicine at the hospital, told us, "Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the virus that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). HIV cannot be transmitted by water or food. The fact is HIV does not live long outside the human body."

Even the World health Organization (WHO) states that individuals can't get infected through food, water, shaking hands, hugging, and kissing.

"Most people get HIV through anal or vaginal sex, or by sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment. One can only get HIV by coming into direct contact with certain body fluids from a person with HIV. People should not believe in such rumours and consult with a doctor for any clarification."
Dr Farah Ingale, Director-Internal Medicine, Fortis Hiranandani Hospital Vashi

Evidently, a fake message with a communal overtone is being shared to falsely claim that Muslim men were caught selling watermelons injected with HIV virus in Lucknow.

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(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read and Breaking News at the Quint, browse for more from news and webqoof

Topics:  Uttar Pradesh   HIV   Lucknow 

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Edited By :Ahamad Fuwad
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