A viral video showing a couple of men kicking over a table with food on it in a quarantine centre is being widely shared on social media.
Claim: “Merit Dhari refusing to eat food cooked by a Dalit women at a quarantine center. What arrogance…..”
It was viewed more than 96,000 times and was shared by around 2,500 users.
The video was posted by user Alex Ambedkar to Twitter, where it was viewed 4,37,900 times and retweeted by nearly 5,000 users.
Merit Dhari refusing to eat food cooked by a Dalit women at a quarantine center.
What arrogance….. pic.twitter.com/UnETG9g9KB
— Alex Ambedkar (@ganikapudi_) May 20, 2020
Another widely viewed and shared tweet identified the two men as Shiraj Ahmed & Bhujouli Kurd.
Shiraj Ahmed & Bhujouli Kurd refusing to eat food cooked by a Dalit women at a quarantine center.
He kicked the food !!…
— Srikanth (@srikanthbjp_) May 21, 2020
With the help of keywords, we found news articles about the incident that took place.
An article by Hindi news outlet Dainik Jagran stated that this untoward incident happened in Saharghat in Madhubani, Bihar. There are 25 migrant labourers who have returned to their home state and have been kept under quarantine in a middle school.
The report states that the men wanted the cooks to serve them food normally, without maintaining the required social distance. This happened after the women kept food on the benches and backed away. When they refused, the men got angry and kicked the bench, spilling hot food all over the area.
Another report by ABP Bihar discussed the incident with the same detail, adding that an FIR had been filed by the Saharghat police, and stated their names.
The men were identified as Pankaj Kumar Rai, Manoj Kumar Rai and Ashok Kumar Sahu.
Times Fact Check spoke to Surendra Paswan, Saharghat SHO for further clarification. He corroborated the facts stated in the news reports, adding that there was no caste angle to the scuffle. (Link)
Therefore, the men did not kick the bench with food because the cooks were Dalits. The claimed caste angle is false. They did so after the women refused to violate social distancing rules.