Was A Petrol Pump In Odisha Attacked Due to Rising Fuel Prices?
CLAIM: A mob attacked a petrol pump in Odisha because petrol prices touched Rs 100 per litre.
The petrol pump in Puri was vandalised over allegations that it was cheating customers.
FACT: A video showing a mob vandalise bunkers at a petrol pump in Odisha is being shared online with a false narrative that soaring prices of petrol triggered the attack.
Rising fuel prices across the country over recent weeks have hurt vehicle owners and put the government on the back foot.
The two-minutes-and-eight seconds clip has gone viral over Facebook since the start of the week with text that states, “Finally Indians began to strike…petrol price hike in Orissa Rs 100 per liter.” Click here to view an archived version of the page. News18 Telugu also featured the video on its site with misleading context.
However, a fact check revealed that the incident took place on 28 September, 2018 when petrol prices in Puri were hovering slight above Rs 82 per litre.
The incident took place at the Khuntia Petrol Pump, near Hospital Square in Puri.
Omcom News reported that the mob allegedly hurled a bomb at an oil tanker parked near the pump. When the bomb failed to go off, the mob tried to burn the tanker. But their plan was foiled by police personnel who reached the spot.
Local police resorted to lathi charge, in which several journalists and press photographers were also injured, news reports said.
A number listed of the said petrol pump was not reachable.
BOOM contacted the Kumbharpada police station in Puri where the incident happened. A local police official not wanting to be named confirmed that the incident was not due to the hike in petrol prices but due to petrol pilferage.
“On the day of the incident, one customer got angry as the petrol pump pilfered petrol. They were supposed to fill petrol for a certain amount but only filled it partly and claimed that they had done nothing wrong. This agitated the customer and he got into a fight. Many others who were present also complained of the same and started vandalising the petrol pump,” he said.
He added that someone also threw a ‘bomb’ at the petrol bunk but since it was not active, no damage was caused.
BOOM also contacted a local reporter from OTV who was at the present when the incident happened.
“At around 10.15 pm a mob started vandalising the petrol bunk,” Madhusudhan, a reporter at OTV told BOOM.
“The mob was getting out of control when a bomb-like article was thrown near a tanker which was parked nearby. It was not exactly a bomb, but a bomb-like article, which did not burst.”
“The police then arrived and started lathi charging and beating up journalists and photographers.” “Even I was injured in the same and we have filed an FIR,” he said.
(The story was first published on Boom and has been republished with permission)