Hyderabad: Telangana on Sunday became the ninth state in the country to breach the 1,000 mark for COVID-19 cases. As the State crossed the 1,000-mark, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao urged people to strictly follow lockdown guidelines for some more time to help tide over the crisis.
Amidst this situation, few images have been shared online showing lot of traffic in the market area of MJ Market and Jambagh in Hyderabad.
But DCP East Zone Hyderabad posted the pictures of the area and gave clarification that these pictures were old and tweeted that old pictures of MJ Market and Jambagh were being circulated in the media creating apprehensions about the violation of lockdown. "Request to see the current pictures to understand the situation. We are there to protect you and will always. Please don't believe and spread falsehood," he tweeted
Newsmeter tried to check if the pictures shared by the users were old or taken during the lockdown period. When we tried to find these pictures using the reverse image search in Google, we could not find any old pictures with the same angle.
A user named Bhavin, checked the viral pictures with the pictures shared by the police and suggested several similarities in the images. According to his tweet, people in the viral pic are wearing masks.
Various comparisons of the viral images and the images shared by the DCP, show that they were taken on the same day.
Here are both pictures in comparison:
We can also see that there are other things that are same and also the tarpaulins are not removed.
The same picture as shared in the viral tweet was shared in Sunday Eenadu dated April 27, 2020 with a report that says "Despite the lockdown guidelines, people have been travelling to big markets like Erragadda, MJ market. In the month of Ramzan, special shops would have opened near Charminar. But this year, because of lockdown the permission to these shops has been denied.
Because of this, these markets witnessed huge crowds. Near MJ Market people rushed just like any of the normal days. The report also says that police could not control the rush in few places.
We also found another report in The Hindu published on April 25th, Saturday which also states that "If during the lockdown, one is desperate to experience 'normalcy', they can head to any of the three localities in the city — Begum Bazaar, Osman Gunj, or Moazzam Jahi Market — during morning hours."
This was also reported in Hans India.
The viral pictures may be from Saturday or Sunday i.e., April 25th or 26th but not older than that. But the twitter handles of several police officials have shared the latest pictures of the place and claimed that the viral pictures are older versions of the same place.
But, NewsMeter found several similarities and also a few reports in the local newspapers briefing how the crowds thronged markets recently.
The claims that the market places witnessed rush amidst lockdown is TRUE.