A video of a group of people vandalising a petrol pump has gone viral on social media. The video is being shared with the Hindi hashtag #पेट्रोल_घोटाला (#Petrol_Scam) along with a caption that reads, “Angered by the rising prices of petrol in Ravana’s reign, people have lost their patience. We strongly condemn this.”


रावण राज में पेट्रोल की बढ़ती कीमतों से नाराज़ जनता का सब्र जवाब देने लगा है हम इसकी कड़ी निंदा करते हैं #पेट्रोल_घोटाला

Posted by Pervez Mohammad on Monday, 28 June 2021

The above post on Facebook gained 9,000 shares and close to 1.5 lakh views as of this writing. It is viral on both Twitter and Facebook.

The video is circulating against the backdrop of the increasing price of petrol in the country. The price of petrol has jumped 35 times since May. In Mumbai, a litre of petrol is priced at Rs 105 and in Delhi, it is Rs 95 a litre.

Old, unrelated video

A keyword search on Google took us to this video uploaded on YouTube in 2018, titled, “Attack on Petrol Pump | Puri, Odisha | Bhubaneswar | Fuel price hike”.

Taking this as a clue we looked for news reports related to the incident. We found a news report from 2018 by Odisha Bytes. As per the report, the incident took place in Khuntia Petrol Pump, near Hospital Square in Puri, Odisha. A customer accused that the petrol pump was cheating its customers by dispensing less fuel than what they paid for. This led to an argument between the employees of the petrol pump and the customer. Some locals joined in on behalf of the customer and later ransacked the petrol pump.

Similarly, OdishaTv.in reported that a customer had asked one of the petrol pump staff for a litre of petrol in a jar. However, the petrol measured only 650 ml due to which an altercation ensued between the two. Some locals also jumped in and allegedly ransacked the fuel dispensers and other property of the petrol pump. A report by Omcom News says that the mob allegedly hurled a bomb at an oil tanker parked near the pump. When the bomb failed to go off, the mob then tried to burn the tanker but their plan was foiled by police personnel who reached the spot. “In the clash between people and police, over 15 journalists and media persons were injured who later went on to stage a road blockade in protest,” added the report.

In 2020, The Quint had done a fact-check on the incident where they spoke to inspector Kulamani Sethi of the Kumbharapada Police Station in Puri. The police told The Quint that the video is from September 2018 and added that a case was registered against four people.

Hence, an unrelated video of the ransacking of a petrol pump in Puri was shared as a recent event where the public vandalised a petrol pump due to the increasing price of petrol.

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About the Author

Kalim is a journalist with a keen interest in tech, misinformation, culture, etc