Demonetisation: Rumours of Rs 400/kg salt, Rs 500/kg sugar spark violence in UP
Rumors about the shortage of salt and sugar and sharp hike in their prices spread across the country leading to chaos and violence in certain parts after demonetization announcement by PM Narendra Modi.
Salt in Uttar Pradesh was being sold for Rs 200 per kg after rumors of shortage spread like wildfire. Uttar Pradesh was no the only area affected by rumours after PM Modi announced demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes. Rumours of increase in salt and sugar prices to the level of Rs 200-400 led to panic buying in some of the minority-dominated area in Ahmedabad leading to some people believing the rumors as they returned empty handed from stores when stocks were sold out. In some parts of the city, it was said that salt will be available at Rs 400 per kg, while sugar will be available at Rs 500 per kg.
The rumors were spread around the country, including major cities like Delhi-NCR, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and in few places in UP, which is to headed for the hustings.
Similar rumours were spread in Delhi-NCR's Noida, Laxmi Nagar, Chandni Chowk and some other localities. There were reports of sporadic violence in certain areas like Kalindi Kunj. It is yet to be ascertained how the rumour started. Reports stated that some shopkeepers took advantage of the situation and began selling salt and sugar at a premium. Salt and sugar were being sold at a huge price of Rs 300 per kg in some parts of UP, reportedly.
Local sources confirmed some shops stocked salt but chose not to sell, planning to do so for an even higher price believing rumors that the government could possibly hike the prices of salt to Rs 400 next day.
The state and the central governments scrapped all the rumours and called it baseless. The governments are also planning take action against those who were spreading such rumours. In the wake of demonitisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, a panic situation has crept in which has been affecting the daily lives of every citizen of the country, causing them a great deal of inconvenience. At some places like in Kanpur, police had to lathicharge when people began robbing shops of salt packets.