An April Fools’ Day prank carried as news item by a local daily in Gujarat saying the government will ban ₹500, ₹1,000 notes has returned to haunt them.
The paper has been flooded with calls ever since the government demonetised them.
The daily, Akila, is now at pains explaining that it was just an April Fools’ prank after a photo of the story published on April 1, 2016, went viral on social media after the government’s shock decision on Tuesday.
“We had published the news on April 1, as a prank on our readers that high denomination notes of ₹500 and ₹1,000 will be discontinued. Its nothing but a coincidence that the news eventually turned out to be true after six months,” owner and editor of the eveninger, Kirit Ganatra said.
Every local newspaper in Gujarat publishes a prank news article on April Fools’ Day as part of a tradition.
The next day, a clarification is issued in the newspaper that the said news was a prank, those close to the establishment said, adding that this is generally enjoyed by the readers.
People might at that time forgot the story as a prank, but when it turned out to be true, the daily was flooded with calls and messages on how it got the news.
The story which was published at that time said that NDA government has decided to curb blackmoney and corruption by scrapping these high denomination notes.
In his speech on November 8, announcing demonetisation of the currency of ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes Prime Minister Narendra Modi also made similar points.
The daily had to publish a clarification it its November 10 issue saying, “This news item was purely a prank for All Fools’ Day. There is no substance in reports that it was based on information leaked by officials.”
Akila further said demonetisation of high currency notes has been discussed for long in the country.