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Old Video From West Bengal Shared To Claim Vote Rigging In Hyderabad’s Bahadurpura

Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Claim
Video shows vote rigging in Hyderabad’s Bahadurpura. 

Fact
2022 video from municipal elections in West Bengal. 

A video allegedly showing vote rigging at the polling booth in Bahadurpura has grabbed social media attention. Bahadurpura is a part of the Hyderabad parliamentary constituency which went to polls on Monday. In the video, a man appears to press the buttons of the EVM repeatedly on behalf of other voters, while another man sitting near him can be seen doing paperwork. Newschecker found that the video dates back to 2022, and shows voting fraud during the West Bengal Municipal Elections.

Such posts can be seen here, here, here and here

The BJP candidate from Hyderabad, Madhavi Latha, who is facing AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi, had claimed that 90 percent of polling booths were compromised. She even staged a protest outside a polling station alleging vote rigging. She also asked Burqa-clad voters to remove their veils and verify their identities at a polling booth. A case was filed against Latha for the same.

Also Read: Fake Quote Of Naseeruddin Shah Taking A Dig At PM Narendra Modi, Kangana Ranaut Goes Viral

Fact Check/Verification

A Google lens search on the keyframes of the viral video led us to a Facebook post by @wbcpm, the fan page of CPIM, West Bengal, dated February 27, 2022. It had shared another post by @jaydip.sarkar, carrying the viral video, with the caption, “Share and spread the video of peaceful municipality of Bengal (translated from Bengali via Google)”

Screengrab from Facebook post by @wbcpm

In February 2022, the municipal elections were held in Bengal on 107 seats, out of which the TMC emerged victorious in 73 seats. “Widespread violence, rigging and clashes with the police were reported from various parts of West Bengal from the north to the south..,” a report by NDTV, dated March 2, 2022, stated.

Following this, we looked up the keyframes of the viral footage on Google lens with the keywords “West Bengal Municipal Elections 2022.” This led us to a report by Editorji, dated February 27, 2022. Carrying a shorter version of the viral video, the report stated that a footage alleging ‘chappa voting’ during West Bengal Municipal Elections at booth number 108 of Ward No. 33 of South Dum Dum Municipality has gone viral.

Screengrab from Editorji website translated by Google

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We then looked up multiple keywords such as “South Dum Dum,” “Number 108,” “Ward 33” “municipal elections,” and “voting fraud” in Bengali on Youtube which led us to a report by Aarohi News dated February 27, 2022. It carried the viral footage with the title, “Allegations of botched voting in South Dumdum, the incident of booth No. 108 in Ward No. 33. (translated from Bengali via Google)

Screengrab from YouTube video by Aarohi News translated by Google

A video report by TV9 Bangla on the incident stated “Voting for Ward No. 33 of South Dum Dum Municipality is going on at Lakeview School. The agent himself stopped the voters and pressed the button on the EVM. Watch that video. (translated from Bengali via Google)

Vote Rigging In Hyderabad ?
Screengrab from YouTube video by TV9 Bangla translated by Google

Also Read: Video From Rally In Sweden Falsely Shared As King Of Denmark Waving Palestinian Flag

Conclusion

We could thus conclude that an old video from West Bengal has been shared to show vote rigging in Hyderabad during polling for the Lok Sabha Election.

Result: False

Sources
Facebook Post By @wbcpm, Dated February 27, 2022
Report By Editorji, Dated February 27, 2022
YouTube Video By Aarohi News, Dated February 27, 2022
YouTube Video By TV9 Bangla, Dated February 27, 2022


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Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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