A four year old video is viral claimed as a crowd breaking down a wall of a liquor shop after lifting up of the Lockdown in Kerala.

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Following the lifting of the Covid-19 lockdown in the state, a video of a large mob trying to rush into a state-run beverage outlet went viral on all social media platforms. The unruly mob was spotted climbing over walls and gates, shoving each other into the beverages outlet’s compound, causing the wall to collapse.

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Facebook

On Facebook, a number of people shared the video and ridiculed the scenario.
The video is going viral on Facebook with caption that reads as follows:
“ഗേറ്റ് ചെറുതായതു കൊണ്ട് പെരുമ്പാവൂരിൽ ബിവറേജിന്റെ മതിൽ ചെറുതായിട്ട് ഒന്നു പൊളിച്ചു….😁😁😁
പാവം കൊറോണ നാണിച്ചുപോയി…. 😂
ബീവറേജസ്‌ ബിസിനസ്സ്‌‌ മഹത്തരം തന്നെ, യീ മഹാമാരി സമയത്തും..…”
Translation: “Since the Gate is small and the wall of the beverage in Perumbavoor was slightly demolished ….
Poor Corona is ashamed ….
I think beverage business is this much attractive, even at this Pandemic.”

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Another user shared the video with description “#Shame #alcoholic #beverages #kerala #lockdown This is such a shame. People out there were crying for exceptions to full lockdown in the name of pverty, starving etc. See what is happening in Kerala when the government beverage outlet was opened. They even broke the boundary wall. It looks like nobody is starving due to lockdown they all need alcohol. So ashamed.”

YouTube

The same video was also uploaded on YouTube.

One of the videos was uploaded by a channel named “Dainandin Barta” with its title in Bengali that read “প্ৰায় দুমাহজোৰা লকডাউনৰ অন্তত কেৰালাত খুলিল সুৰাৰ বিপণী। প্ৰথম দিনটোতে ৭২ কোটি টকাৰ সুৰা বিক্ৰী।”

Translation:  “Almost two months after the lockdown, a liquor store opened in Kerala. Sales of liquor worth Rs 72 crore on the first day.”

Truth

This video was taken in 2017, after the Beverages outlet in Perumbavoor reopened following a hartal.!

The government reopened beverage shops and bars in Kerala for takeout services on June 17 as part of the unlock measures announced on June 15 for the lockdown enforced in the state. Police presence was ensured in areas where beverage outlets were reopened to prevent overcrowding or violations of Covid protocols.

When we look closely at the video, we noticed that no one is wearing a mask or following any social distancing or Covid-19 guidelines. In addition, there are no police officers in the video at any point.

On reverse searching parts of the video with keywords and dateline before June 17 2021,  we came across a Facebook post from July 31 2017. The description of the video reads “ഹർത്താലിനു ശേഷം പെരുമ്പാവൂർ ബിവറേജ് 6 മണിക്ക് തുറന്നപ്പോൾ ഇങ്ങനെയായിരുന്നുവത്രേ.”

Translation:This was when the Perumbavoor Beverage opened at 6 pm after the hartal.”

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YouTube

The video was also uploaded by a channel named “Hello Malayalees” on YouTube on Aug 3, 2017, with the title im Malayalam that read “പെരുമ്പാവൂരിൽ ഹർത്താൽ കഴിഞ്ഞ്‌ ഇങ്ങനെ ബീവറേജ്‌ തുറക്കുമെന്ന് കരുതിയില്ല ..!! Kerala Beverages Open.”

Translation: “I did not think that after the hartal in Perumbavoor, the beverage would be opened like this .. !! Kerala Beverages Open.”

Following up on our investigation, we found an article published on July 31, 2017 by Indian Express Malayalam online, The article clearly mentions that this video was taken after the BJP called for a one-day hartal to protest the killing of RSS worker Rajesh in Thiruvananthapuram.


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Suramya Sunilraj

Suramya Sunilraj is a student at the Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune.