Anima Sonkar, Delhi state joint secretary of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's student wing ABVP shared fake news that Indian multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company Cipla has been charging Rs 120 for a 100ml bottle of hand sanitizer, which was earlier priced at just Rs 50. She apparently tried to give it a communal angle as well and dragged the name of the company's founder Yusuf Khawaja Hamied and called him a "crook".
Her post on Twitter read "@Cipla_Global now charges Rs 120 for a 100ml hand sanitiser, earlier priced at just Rs 50. Company runs under the Chairman "Yusuf Khawaja Hamied". Congress decorated this crook with "Padma Bhushan" - the third-highest civilian award in 2015! Talking of humanity, anyone?"
Within hours, the tweet by the ruling BJP's student wing leader went viral and was liked by more than 2,000 people and garnered over 1500 retweets. However, several people also called out the ABVP leader for spreading communal hatred and fake news. The tweet has since been taken down.
"The one with the MRP 50 was packaged after the price cap was introduced by the govt. Check the batch number. Don't spread communal hatred," a user commented on her now-deleted tweet.
Cipla, the company that makes the CIPHANDS sanitiser, released a statement and rubbished Sonkar's claim. The company said that they have been following the government's instructions and directed all their wholesalers to sell the hand sanitiser at Rs 50.
"It has come to our attention that there is a fake news circulating about a price-hike for Ciphands Hand Sanitiser. The Government of India issued guidance on March 21, 2020, with respect to sanitisers, post which the MRP of Ciphands 100ml pack was immediately reduced to MRP Rs 50 to safeguard communities during the Covid-19 outbreak," the company statement read.
It further added that the company has instructed all the wholesalers and retailers to sell Ciphands 100ml Hand Sanitiser only at a revised MRP of Rs 50. In view of the coronavirus pandemic, the government had declared sanitisers and masks essential commodities. Following the government's move, the prices of hand sanitisers skyrocketed due to the sudden rise in demand. However, the government then issued an order and capped the price of a 200ml sanitiser bottle at Rs 100 and a 100ml bottle at Rs 50.
Claim reviewed :Cipla accused of selling hand sanitizer at higher prices
Claimed By :IBT News Desk.
Fact Check :Misleading