The second wave of COVID-19 has ripped through India, setting off a shortage of life-saving medicines, oxygen, and hospital beds. Amidst the shortage are reports of people selling oxygen cylinders in the black market in the national capital. The Delhi police recently recovered more than 500 oxygen concentrators during a raid at Khan Chacha restaurant. A picture of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, purportedly with Khan Chacha owner Navneet Kalra, has now gone viral.
“Your jaw will drop when you think about how deep-seated and far-reaching this oxygen shortage conspiracy goes. 524 oxygen concentrators were recovered from three restaurants owned by Khan Market’s Navneet Kalra, the same man seen in both photos,” reads the caption in Hindi.
Twitter handle @humlogindia shared the picture with the same caption. (Archive link)
आक्सीजन की कमी का षड्यंत्र कितना गहरा और कितने ऊंचे स्तर पर रचा जा रहा है ये सोचकर ही आपके दिमाग की बत्ती हिल जाएगी। दोनो फोटो में दिख रहा खान मार्किट के इसी नवनीत कालरा की 3 रेस्टोरेंट से 524 ऑक्सिजन कन्संट्रेटर बरामद हुआ है। pic.twitter.com/omnkCxyTZh
— हम लोग We The People (@humlogindia) May 7, 2021
One Priyesh Dubey posted this picture on the Facebook group ‘Republic Bharat. – राष्ट्र के नाम’ with the accompanying claim. (archive link)
Not Navneet Kalra
A side-by-side comparison of the man in Sonia and Rahul Gandhi’s company with a photograph of Navneet Kalra shows distinct facial features.
Kalra had posted the pictures on Facebook on January 28, 2019. He identified the location as Town Hall and the man as Augusto Cabrera. It is also noteworthy that he reshared this post in 2019. It was originally uploaded four years earlier on January 23, 2015.
‘Augusto’ is also embroidered on the clothing of the individual seen with the Gandhis.
Augusto Cabrera is from The Philippines. He is a celebrity chef based out of Delhi and specialises in Japanese cuisine. He used to work at The Oberoi Hotel’s Threesixty restaurant and is currently employed at Town Hall, a Japanese restaurant in Khan Market.
It is also worth mentioning that Navneet Kalra’s Instagram account has pictures of him with several Bollywood celebrities, cricketers and political leaders. He had shared a photo with BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy. Cabrera’s Instagram account also features photos of himself with well-known public figures.
Chef Augusto’s photographs with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were shared with the false claim that he is Khan Chacha’s owner Navneet Kalra who was involved in the black marketing of oxygen concentrators.