Scripted video shared to claim man 'injecting chemicals' in watermelons 'caught by police'

By: Rajeswari Parasa
May 24 2024

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Scripted video shared to claim man 'injecting chemicals' in watermelons 'caught by police'

Screenshot of a social media post faslely claiming a policeman caught a person who was injecting chemicals into watermelons. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The original video was shared with a disclaimer by the Facebook page 'Social Message,' which routinely publishes scripted videos.

Claim ID 8b1789b4

What is the claim?

A  video has been shared on social media with the claim that the police caught a man while he was injecting chemicals inside a watermelon to ripen it artificially.

In the viral video, a man with a handkerchief covering his face can be seen sitting on the floor with watermelons, syringes, and bottles around him. We hear another person, not visible in the frame, speaking in the background and questioning the man for the alleged act of adding color to fruits using chemicals. He then seems to be talking on the phone, saying he has ‘caught’ a person and asked for a vehicle to be sent to pick them up. The man seen in the video then denies any wrongdoing and asks for mercy, even appearing to offer a bribe to the purported police officer.

Archived versions of posts sharing the video with the claim that it shows police action against those who use chemicals to ripen fruits can be found here, here, and here.

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

However, the viral video is scripted and doesn’t show an actual incident of police action against someone who artificially ripened fruits.

What are the facts?

A reverse image search led us to the original longer 7:30-minute video uploaded by the Facebook page ‘Social Message’ (archived here) on April 29. We found that the video’s frames and audio match the now-viral clip. The video was shared with a caption in Hindi, which translates to, “Those who eat watermelons must see how your health is being played with, be careful!” Various portions of this video have been shared on social media with the viral claim that it shows police action against culprits who artificially ripen fruits.

However, in the original video, a disclaimer pops up around the 0:28 mark for about a second or two. The disclaimer states, “This video is a complete fiction, all the events in the video are scripted and made for awareness purpose only this does not promote any kind of activity or defame any kind of rituals. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead or actual events, is purely coincidental (sic).” This disclaimer is missing from the shorter videos shared online in the viral claims. 

Screenshot of the disclaimer mentioned in the original Facebook video. (Source: Facebook/Social Message)

It is to be noted that the bio of the Facebook page Social Message’ also states: “Some of these videos on this page are scripted, which have been created for awareness and entertainment (translated from Hindi).

We browsed through the Facebook page and found it had previously uploaded many scripted India-based videos. We have contacted the page admins for the context of the video on watermelons, and their response will be added if and when we receive it.

It is to be noted that there have been recent news reports from India of police seizing fruits, including watermelons, from vendors for allegedly artificially ripening them by injecting chemicals. However, this particular video does not show an actual incident.

The verdict

The now-viral video is scripted, and its creator has said so in a disclaimer while sharing it on Facebook. Therefore, we mark this claim as false.

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