The tweets, posted from unknown user handles, falsely claim that Muslim restaurant owners have been arrested for selling biriyani mixed with contraceptive pills to Hindu customers and ‘normal’ biriyani to Muslim customers.
Disinformation circulating on social media claiming that contraceptives are being added to biriyani by Muslim restaurants has once again surfaced. Several Twitter handles were booked for spreading rumours claiming that a Muslim-run eatery in Coimbatore was adding contraceptive pills to biriyani, allegedly to reduce the population of Hindus. The tweets were posted from unknown user handles falsely claiming that Muslim restaurant owners have been arrested for selling biriyani mixed with contraceptive pills to Hindu customers and ‘normal’ biriyani to Muslim customers. Reacting to the posts, Coimbatore City cyber crime police have filed a First Information Report (FIR) and are currently looking for the accused, cyber crime Sub-Inspector (SI) P Thamarai Kannan confirmed to TNM.
The FIR has been registered under sections 465 (forgery) and 505(b) (intent to incite offence among different communities or class) of the Indian Penal Code, and sections 66 (using computer resources to spread offensive information) and 66D (using computer resources to cheat by impersonation) of the Information Technology Act (2000).
At least one of the posts shared by the accused claimed, “* biriyani Jehad in Coimbatore…* Police found biriyani mixed with drugs to served to Hindu customers and plain biriyani for the Muslims. The drugs have harmonal effects on the sexual potency of persons. This is Jehad for Demographic change.
It is to be noted that contraceptive pills do not work in the manner alleged in any of the claims regarding ‘biriyani jihad’. Such pills work when they are taken at a set dosage every day over a period of 21 to 28 days at the same time each day.
This is not the first time that such false claims of contraceptive pills being mixed into biriyani have been circulated on social media. In 2019, similar messages were circulated in Sri Lanka, while Chennai also saw such tweets in April 2022. In March 2022, similar claims were made of contraceptive pills being mixed into biriyani made by Muslim-owned shops in Coimbatore.
At the time, the fact-checking news site Alt News had published an article proving that the images and claims were fake. Further, Alt News had also highlighted how the same photos had been attributed to multiple Muslim-owned eateries across Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat. The Coimbatore police responded to the posts via Twitter, clarifying that the claims were fake and that they were working towards tracing the handles. Thamarai Kannan confirmed that the latest posts making false claims about Muslim-owned eateries in Coimbatore have also used the same images.