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‘Just for fun’ — Gujarat broker says didn’t actually use ‘kala jadu’ to spark stock market fall

Stockbroker Minish Patel had claimed in a Telegram message to his 12 lakh subscribers that he spent Rs 8.5 crore on ‘black magic’ to trigger market fall last week.

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Mumbai: A Rajkot-based stockbroker and analyst who became the subject of criticism when he claimed he had used “kala jadu (black magic)” to engineer a stock market fall last week has clarified that he was just joking.

Minish Patel, who has a Telegram channel with nearly 12 lakh subscribers, issued a statement Tuesday, claiming he was “shocked and surprised by the grossly irresponsible reporting by some media”. His kala jadu message, he asserted, was “on a lighter note” and “flashed with a pure intent of humour”.

In his infamous 12 May message on Telegram, which was deleted by the time ThePrint tried to access it, Patel reportedly told his subscribers: “We are responsible to a great extent for today’s fall and the fall of the past few days in the market. You won’t believe it, but we have spent over Rs 8.5 crore today in kala jadu (black magic) to create panic in the market.”

In his clarification, Patel complained that in spite of “clearly [having] written ‘For fun’” many took this message “seriously”.

But even now, many market experts are not amused.

“There are many gullible people out there in the retail investor category who might fall prey to such things and might exit the stock market at a loss. This is absolutely not right and SEBI (market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India) should look into this,” a Mumbai-based stock market analyst said on condition of anonymity.

On his channel, Patel describes himself as a SEBI-registered research analyst with 27 years of experience. He is also the owner of Patel Wealth Advisors, which offers various financial advisory services.

ThePrint has contacted SEBI via email for comment. This report will be updated once a response is received.

When ThePrint texted Patel for comment, a source close to him responded instead. Requesting anonymity, he said that only “half-truths” are represented in the media.

“This is not the first time we have made a joke on our channel. Stock market is a place where people can get extremely tense and stressed and everyone needs to be refreshed,” Patel’s associate said.

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‘Should not make such a foolish comment’

In his clarification message on Telegram, Patel claimed that his “fun” comment was triggered by repeated queries from his channel subscribers about how he manages to predict the market and whether he has some sort of software to help him.

“I was tired as they are not believing in my experience and screen reading skills, so to avoid such question I have flashed common msg (message) for all in channel that ‘I use kala-jadu’ for market prediction with the intention of fun for all,” Patel said in the message, which ThePrint has seen.

“I don’t believe in superstition/kala jadu. Market cannot be manipulated by anyone, it is solely upon the public how they see the market. It was flashed purely with the intention of humour,” he added.

However, the Mumbai stockbroker quoted earlier said “one should not make such a foolish comment when it is the question of capital of thousands of crores”. “This is a serious business,” the stockbroker added.

The joke also fell flat in a generally grim scenario.

In the last one month, stock markets have been on a decline. Global factors such as the Russia-Ukraine war and resulting market disruptions have affected India too.

This month, in the days preceding Patel’s 12 May black magic claim, the Nifty 50 index fell nearly 1,300 points or 8 per cent while the BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange) went down by 7 per cent.

(Edited by Asavari Singh)

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