Hyderabadi cuisine is one of the most popular Indian cuisines, especially the Biryani. From the days of Nizam’s yore, the Hyderabadi biryani has earned a reputation for being a traditional delicacy, often a mascot of the city of Nizam. There are umpteen number of restaurants in the city that cater the familiar spicy flavour of biryani. However, Shah Ghouse Hotel & Cafe became a household name for quality Hyderabadi cuisine. With tremendous effort and planning, this restaurant chain earned a name for itself.
But in today’s internet generation, it doesn’t take much to tarnish the reputation of a person or organisation. And Shah Ghouse Hotel and Cafe was victim to one such ‘prank’ messages on messaging service WhatsApp.
There were stories of many restaurants using dog meat in their meat delicacies that were being forwarded on the internet and social media platforms. There were disturbing photos along with this message. 22-yr-old Chandra Mohan Charry, an MBA student in Hyderabad, also received this message and thought it would be funny to add the name of Shah Ghouse restaurant and forward this to his friends. He took photos from a different website of dog meat being used for preparing Biryani. The message he shared read, “Dog’s meat was found at Shah Ghouse Restaurant on December 8”.
This message spread like wildfire all over social media and was also received by people living overseas. Even local television channels began to broadcast the news without checking for the legitimacy of the information.
Understandably, Shah Ghouse’s business took a big hit. The hotel owner filed a complaint with the Cyberabad Police. He said that the message was false and this was a case of defamation. He also wanted action to be taken against the local TV channels for broadcasting fake information about the restaurant chain.
The Cyberabad police managed to arrest Chandra Mohan last Friday. He admitted to the police that he lied about the use of dog meat. He said that his friends regularly asked him for a party at this restaurant, and to avoid spending money, he sent a prank message with false information.
The cyber crime department initiated the investigation, and they took swift action to catch the culprit. However, the damage is done as many customers are still refusing to go back to the hotel.
The Logical Indian appeals to our community members to please check the origin and truthfulness behind such forwards. Sending such messages without fact-checks can lead to loss of reputation and even loss of life.
Many times users are not aware that there is such fake news being propagated. Let us make such people aware so that they too are critical of information they receive.