Rumours of salt and sugar shortage caused people in parts of Hyderabad to panic.
There was panic buying of the two essential items in the old city and some other parts of Hyderabad after rumours spread over social media. This followed reports of salt shortage in Uttar Pradesh.
People mobbed shops late Friday night and Saturday morning to buy salt and sugar. Traders exploited the situation in a few places to sell the packed salt powder at Rs 80-100 per kg against the actual price of Rs 17. The price of sugar was reportedly doubled to Rs 80.
Such was the panic that some customers purchased 10 to 20 packets of salt.
"I had to keep my shop open till 1 am due to huge rush," said Shakeel Ahmed, who runs a shop in Toli Chowki.
The buyers at a reliance store in the area were also disappointed on Saturday morning as both salt and sugar were out of stock.
Authorities, however, said there was an acute shortage. They appealed to people not to believe the rumours.
Hyderabad Police Commissioner Mahender Reddy said some rumours had been floating around in social media that there was acute shortage of salt.
"Such news is absolutely false and baseless. There is no shortage of salt anywhere," he said.
The police chief said strong action would be taken against those spreading the rumours.