Imtiaz Supermarket Gulshan-e-Iqbal is not going to collapse

Viral Whatsapp message spreads fake news about Imtiaz Supermarket

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Claim: Imtiaz Supermarket in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi may collapse at any moment due to deterioration caused by the recent heavy monsoon rainfall. Water started entering the basement causing cracks to appear. 

Fact: Imtiaz Supermarket is not likely to collapse due to damage caused by monsoon rainfall. The management of Imtiaz Supermarket has denied the claims, terming them fabricated and baseless. Moreover, a Soch Fact Check reporter visited the store in question and confirmed that the basement is not flooded.  

Fact or Fiction?

On 25 July 2022, a screenshot of a WhatsApp message went viral claiming that Imtiaz Supermarket Gulshan-e-Iqbal could collapse at any moment due to damage caused in the basement by heavy rainfall. The message read:

کراچی الرٹ”
امتیاز سپر اسٹور گلشن اقبال کی بیسمنٹ میں دراریں پڑھنا شروع بلڈنگ کیسی بھی وقت زمین بوس ہو سکتی ھے بیسمنٹ میں پانی ریسنا شروع عوام احتیاط کریں”

[Translation: Karachi alert
Cracks are starting to appear in the basement of Imtiaz Super Store Gulshan Iqbal, the building may collapse at any time. Water has started seeping into the basement, public be careful].

The store management issued a response stating that the viral claim is “fabricated” and “baseless”. It was further stated that rumors are being spread to defame Imtiaz Supermarket and damage its credibility.

Screenshot of Imtiaz Supermarket’s official statement

Soch Fact Check contacted a representative of Imtiaz Supermarket from the head office to inquire about the viral claim. The representative reiterated that the claims are false and that the supermarket remained open during the period of heavy rainfall, as well as in the aftermath. They noted that if the building had been damaged, they would have temporarily closed the store to prevent further deterioration.   

A Soch Fact Check reporter also visited the store in question to verify the claims. The basement was fully functional and did not show any signs of damage. The reporter met with the security incharge from Imtiaz Gulshan-e-Iqbal who stated that government officials had visited the store to verify the situation and allowed the store to remain open. The incharge also explained that the image in the viral WhatsApp message is from 2016, when the building was under construction. 

Virality

Soch Fact Check conducted a search on Facebook with the term:

  • امتیاز سپر اسٹور گلشن اقبال کی بیسمنٹ میں دراریں پڑھنا شروع بلڈنگ

[Cracks start appearing in Imtiaz super store Gulshan-e-Iqbal basement]

The results turned up 24 posts featuring  the WhatsApp screenshot. One such post received 57 shares. The screenshot was also posted here, here, and here

Conclusion: Claims that the basement of Imtiaz Supermarket in Gulshan-e-Iqbal is likely to collapse are false. The store management denied the claims. The basement did not show any signs of damage.

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