Amid rumours that there is scarcity of salt in the country, there was panic as people thronged stores to buy the essential commodity in bulk on Friday. The Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government, where the rumour seems to have begun, have assured people that there was enough salt in case of shortage in the country and asked them to not panic.

After rumours of the shortage, salt in Moradabad was sold at Rs. 200/kg and theft was reported in a market in Gonda district. After Uttar Pradesh, rumours also spread to Mumbai and Delhi. The rumours reportedly began after shopkeepers refused to give change for big notes, such as Rs. 500 and Rs. 2,000.

“Strict action will be taken against all rumour mongers claiming shortage/price hike of salt,” tweeted the Mumbai Police on Friday.

“Dial 100 to inform Police Control Room incase anybody is selling Salt or any other essential commodity more then MRP. Say NO to rumours!!” tweeted DCP North Delhi Madhur Verma on Friday.

Also, in Gujarat people flocked shops to stock up on the essential commodity.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said there is no shortage of salt in the state. He also directed the chief secretary, principal secretary (Food) and all district magistrates to make sure there is no hoarding, black marketing and warned strict action against them.

“It was shocking that salt was not available in many of the local kiraana shops here, with some of the shopkeepers refusing to sell it saying the prices of salt will escalate tomorrow and will cost around Rs. 300 per kg,” said a resident of Kareli in Uttar Pradesh.