No, this video does not show Punjab farmer watering grain sacks to ‘aid liquor mafia’

By: Rajini KG
February 22 2024

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No, this video does not show Punjab farmer watering grain sacks to ‘aid liquor mafia’

Screenshot of the viral video circulating online. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The video is from 2018 and shows a laborer in Haryana tampering with grain sacks to make more profit. It is unrelated to the 2024 farmers' protest.

Claim ID 9819bf27

What is the claim?

A video purportedly showing a farmer sprinkling water on sacks of grain has been widely shared online, accompanied by claims that the individual is deliberately wetting grains to spoil them. Social media users claim that the farmers then sell these grains to breweries at "almost zero cost," purportedly to support the "liquor mafia." 

Furthermore, it's alleged that as the Government of India purchases grains at premium rates, some farmers engage in such deceitful practices for additional profit by falsely adding to the weight of the grain. This video is being shared on the back of the farmers' protest, where the protesting groups/unions are demanding a guaranteed minimum support price from the government. Archives of these social media posts can be found here and here.

Screenshot of the viral video circulating online. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the claim is false. The video in question actually depicts a laborer in Haryana, not a farmer, who is seen spraying water on bags of grain. This was done to increase the bags' weight, thereby illicitly boosting profits. Officials associated with the Fatehabad Market Committee informed Logically Facts that this video is dated and related to an isolated incident, for which actions were already taken.

Here’s the fact

A reverse image search revealed that the video predates the current farmers' protests, tracing back to a YouTube upload by Punjab Kesari Haryana on April 28, 2018. The video was captioned in Hindi, indicating an incident where wheat was wetted at Fatehabad market, with connections to an Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader.

According to the report, the laborer, working for shop number 125-A at Fatehabad Raj Mandi, was caught in the act of moistening wheat sacks to fraudulently increase their weight, aiming to secure greater profits for the shop by misrepresenting the sacks' true weight.

After this video surfaced in 2018, the Fatehabad Market Committee launched an investigation. The shop was found to be owned by Kuljeet Kuladia, a local member of INLD, a political party in Haryana. This was further corroborated by a News18 Hindi report.  

Additionally, a local channel, Jeewan Aadhar TV, covered the incident on April 27, 2018. At the 1:51 second mark in the report, we can see a notice that was issued by the Fatehabad Market Committee to the owner over this incident.

To gather more details on this case and its aftermath, we contacted Sanjeev Sachdeva, the then chief of the Fatehabad Market Committee. He confirmed the incident and informed us that the "committee canceled the license of the commissioning agent (owner) after this video."

Thus, the evidence clarifies that the video originates from 2018 and features a laborer at a market store, not a farmer.

The verdict

A five-year-old video from the Fatehabad market in Haryana has been falsely presented to accuse farmers of tampering with wheat bags in Punjab in 2024, amid the ongoing protests for government support. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

(With inputs from Mohammed Salman)

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