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AATS Cop Arvind Kumar Misidentified as ABVP Member Bharat Sharma

Amid protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, social media is bombarded with misinformation. A protest which could be democratic and peaceful fell prey to misinformation and turned violent at some places. Social media users across political parties shared claims without any authenticity and the claims went viral in no time. People from both sides, be it supporters or protesters of the Citizenship Amendment Act, shared claims which suit their political inspiration. Now, what becomes more surprising and worrisome is the intentional support to the misinformation. Many social media users often share claims that carry no or very little authenticity but they do not stand corrected even after being called out. This tendency to paint falsehood in the same colors as the truth has become a notorious dogma that is preventing people from discerning between truth, propaganda and fiction.

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Claim

Many political parties, volunteers, supporters, and journalists claimed that a man, who was involved in beating the protestors at JMI, is an ABVP member and was allowed by the police to beat the protesters.

Verification

Amid protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, social media is bombarded with misinformation. A protest which could be democratic and peaceful fell prey to misinformation and turned violent at some places. Social media users across political parties shared claims without any authenticity and the claims went viral in no time. People from both sides, be it supporters or protesters of the Citizenship Amendment Act, shared claims which suit their political inspiration. Now, what becomes more surprising and worrisome is the intentional support to the misinformation. Many social media users often share claims that carry no or very little authenticity but they do not stand corrected even after being called out. This tendency to paint falsehood in the same colors as the truth has become a notorious dogma that is preventing people from discerning between truth, propaganda and fiction.

Recently, a claim went viral on social media that an ABVP member, namely Bharat Sharma, was involved in beating the protesters. Many social media users including AAP Volunteer Kapil, Congress Leader Dr Udit Raj, NCP Lawmaker Dr Jitendra Awhad and several others claimed that the Delhi Police has outsourced ABVP and RSS members to beat the protesters.

Intensity of the claim can be seen below 

Claim made by AAP Volunteer Kapil (Tweet is deleted, an archived version can be viewed here.

Claim made by Arvind Jha (Tweet is deleted, an archived version can be viewed here.

Claim made by NCP Legislator Dr Jitendra Awahad:

Claim made by Writer Raju Parulekar (Tweet is deleted, an archived version can be viewed here.

Claim made by Congress Leader Udit Raj (Tweet is deleted, an archived version can be viewed here):

Claim made by Himachal Pradesh Congress Sevadal: 

Furthermore, this image is viral on Twitter with various claims which are listed below

  1. Claims in Hindi can be viewed here
  2. Claims in English can be viewed here

Intensity of this claim on Facebook can be viewed here

As we began to fact check this claim, we first observed the viral image. The viral image, as one can see above, is a collage of two images wherein one is allegedly the snapshot of Bharat Sharma’s Facebook profile and the other is of a man in his early 40s standing with a Lathi in his hand. Notably, the same person was said to be present in both the images of the viral collage.

AATS Constable Arvind Kumar misidentified as Bharat Sharma

We first checked Delhi Police’s Twitter Handle, where we found a series of tweets and retweets by Delhi Police debunking the aforementioned claim.

Delhi Police retweeted a tweet by news agency ANI, where the DCP of South East Delhi Chinmoy Biswal appeals to citizens to maintain law & order, and not pay heed to rumours.

We also found a tweet wherein DCP South East Delhi has rubbished the aforementioned claim.

The above tweet by DCP South East Delhi contains an ANI story which further explains the matter in detail. The ANI story suggests that the AATS (Anti Auto Theft Squad) constable Arvind Kumar, who was misidentified as ABVP member Bharat Sharma, was standing near Surya Hotel when some person clicked his picture.

Not ABVP member, man in civilian clothes was a cop: Delhi Police

New Delhi [India], Dec 17 (ANI): The Delhi Police on Tuesday denied the claim that a member of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) was dressed as police personnel at the time of violence in Jamia Millia Islamia here.As violence erupted in Jamia on Sunday following the protests over the Citizenship

In lieu of debunking the misinformation spread by social media users, DCP South East Delhi tweeted the clarification.

Notably, DCP South East Delhi has also retweeted a tweet which reads, “Agar paani ko petrol bataya ja sakta hai to mujhe ashcharya nahi hai ki hamare ek officer ko RSS ka bataya ja raha hai.”

Furthermore, DCP South East Delhi has quoted the screenshot of a tweet which contains the same viral collage, his quoted reply can be seen below.

The above statement of the DCP refers to a ‘Misleading’ claim made by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and others which was recently fact checked by our team.

Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, Congress IT Cell Head Rohan Gupta & Others Falsely Accuse Delhi Police of Setting Ablaze Public Transport

Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia followed by Congress IT Cell Incharge Rohan Gupta, Former Lok Sabha candidate from Aam Aadmi Party Atishi Marlena, AAP volunteer Ankit Lal, AAP Supporter Aarti, Journalist Saikat Datta and others claimed that the BJP is using Delhi Police to provoke the violence in Delhi.

Website The Quint was able to access a picture of Constable Arvind Kumar and has done a comparison between Bharat Sharma and Constable Arvind Kumar which clearly defines the difference in their appearances.

I have been subjected to severe mental harassment since yesterday: Bharat Sharma

Bharat Sharma expressed his thoughts through a tweet that reads, “I have been subjected to severe mental harassment since yesterday. I will file a defamation suit against all those who have peddled this lie that I was involved in rioting disguising as a police personnel, thus defaming my organisation and me.”

Bharat Sharma, in one of his tweets, has replied to Bollywood Director, Producer, Writer and Actor Anurag Kashyap for a tweet that contains the same claim as many above

Since the tweet Bharat Sharma has replied to, is deleted, here is a screenshot of the claim which Kashyap retweeted

His organization ABVP has also clarified on the matter.

Man posed as striking against a group of women is not Arvind Kumar

Former Supreme Court justice Markandey Katju tweeted two images and asked if anyone can tell him about the cop who is in a pose to strike against group of woman.

When we began to fact check the second claim, we found a story in India Today that explains the matter in details.

Cops beat girls and boys alike, my brave women friends saved me: Jamia boy whose assault video is viral

Pulled by his collar, he was dragged out of a house and slammed on to a road in South Delhi by the “professional” personnel of the Delhi Police on Sunday evening as protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill rocked Jamia Millia Islamia University.

We also found a report in Hindustan Times that clarifies the matter in detail. According to the report by Hindustan Times, AATS Inspector Love Atrey denied the allegations that civilians and political party members were invited by the Delhi Police to beat the protesters. Atrey said, “A dozen of us set out without changing into our uniform. At the spot, we put on anti-riot jackets and wore our motorcycle helmets before dealing with the mob”.

Man in viral photo raining blows with a baton is a cop, not a civilian: Police

india Updated: Dec 17, 2019 16:33 IST One of the many rumours being spread on social media after the police crackdown on protesters in Jamia Nagar relates to a photograph of a man in plainclothes hitting a protester with a baton, and some women trying to shield him.

Claim made by AAP Volunteer Kapil and Others is ‘Misleading’

It is clear from our investigation that the man said to be ABVP member Bharat Sharma is AATS Constable Arvind Kumar. We found in our fact check that the man posed as striking against group of women in civil dress is not a civilian but a cop.

Tools Used

Google Search

Twitter Advanced Search

Reverse Image Search

Result: Misleading

(If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form)

 

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English

Did Qatar cancel all Air India flights under Vande Bharat Mission? No, it’s a false claim

An image which states that Qatar cancelled all Air India flights under Vande Bharat Mission is false.

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Claim

An image we received on our Whatsapp verification number claims “Qatar cancelled all Air India Flights Under Vande Bharat Mission.” See the image below. 

Factcheck

The above image also claims that earlier Air India got exemptions from their airport charges on account of Vande Bharat being an evacuation mission. Later, on realising that passengers paid 700 riyals for these tickets, they cancelled all the flights. 

We found similar messages being circulated on Facebook and Twitter, examples below. 

What an image we build !!

Người đăng: Shrikant Prabhu vào Thứ Sáu, 15 tháng 5, 2020

You can view another example here

Through a keyword search we came across a clarification on the official Twitter page of the Embassy of India Doha, Qatar. It denied the rumour by stating that a flight was cancelled due to technical reasons. And is being rescheduled for 12 May. 

A subsequent tweet on 11 May by the Embassy of India, Doha expressed that a few media channels were making a baseless claim about flight IX-374 from Doha to Thiruvananthapuram was cancelled because of differences over landing and handling charges. None of it is true. 

Conclusion

We found the claim in the image which states that Qatar cancelled all Air India flights under Vande Bharat Mission to be false. 

Tools Used

  • Google search
  • Twitter advanced search 

Result: False 

(If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form)

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Coronavirus

Photograph Taken in 1985 Shared on Social Media in the Backdrop of COVID-19 Pandemic

A photograph is being widely shared on social media, which shows a woman holding a child in her hands, claiming that this picture was taken before the mother succumbed to the novel coronavirus in Italy.

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A Facebook user shared a photograph of a woman holding a child her in her hands claiming that this picture was taken before the mother succumbed to the novel coronavirus in Italy.

बेटे से माँ की जुदाई…है भगवान हर माँ की रक्षा करों !इटली की महिला कोरोना की तीसरी और आखरी स्टेज में थी सामने उनका 18…

Người đăng: Subham Chouhan Lalla Bhaiya vào Thứ Ba, 21 tháng 4, 2020

The caption of the viral image, when translated to English, reads, ‘Such a disheartening incident. Female Corona patient in Italy was in the third stage and her 18-month-old child was crying a lot. The patient expressed her last wish that she wanted to hug her child once. The doctors covered her entire body, and as she holds the child, the child stopped crying, but the mother succumbed to the coronavirus.’

We found that the photograph was being shared on Facebook and Twitter with identical claims.

Several readers sent the viral pictures to Newschecker’s WhatsApp helpline number for verification.

Fact Check

With the help of reverse image search, we found the same image in Magnum Photos. The image viral on social media was clicked in 1985 at a cancer treatment centre in Seattle, USA by photojournalist Burt Glinn, before the baby’s bone marrow transplant and has no connection with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The caption of the image reads, “USA, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, 1985. Fred Hutchinson CancerCenter- Infant inside Laminar AirFlow Room protection from infection. The child has been irradiated prior to marrow transplant.”

We also found that the original photograph clicked by Burt Glinn is vertical, and one can see the mother in a standing position with her hands and face inserted into the laminar airflow box, whereas the image viral on social media is in a horizontal position. You can see the comparison here:

Conclusion

It is clear from our fact check that the photograph viral on social media, which shows a woman holding a child in her hands, is neither from Italy nor does it has any connection with coronavirus pandemic. The image was taken in 1985 at a cancer treatment center in Seattle, USA, by photojournalist Burt Glinn before the baby’s bone marrow transplant.

Sources

  • Google Reverse Image Search
  • Google Search

Result: Misleading

(If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form)

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Patients Are Not Being Segregated On The Basis Of Religion; Media Outlets Falsely Report

Since the government has denied the allegations of segregation of COVID-19 patients on the basis of religion and the doctor whom the outlets claim to have spoken, alleges

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News outlets such as The Hindu, The New Indian Express, and others claimed that the COVID-19 patients in Gujarat are being segregated on the basis of religion at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital. The reports published by media outlets were further amplified by several verified and prominent Twitter handles.

Fact Check

As it is rightly said, the world is fighting a pandemic and an ‘Infodemic’, Indian media is justifying the statement in its truest sense. In the past few days, cases of misreporting by media outlets have seen a spike, besides a strict warning by the Supreme Court. Indian media was recently criticized for the religious profiling of COVID-19 cases in India but even that could not stop the media from reporting COVID-19 cases on the basis of the religion. 

The latest outlet to join the communal cacophony of Indian media is ‘The Hindu’ which is otherwise known for its quality journalism. The paper tried to undo the damage though by removing the ‘Hindu/Muslim’ words from its report after realizing they had misreported on the matter. 

The Hindu on 15th April carried a report titled ‘COVID-19 patients segregated on the basis of religion at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, according to reports’. The report carried by ‘The Hindu’ is based on the alleged segregation of COVID-19 patients at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital. The report was later updated and certain changes were made to the report. 

Here’s what was in the initial report and what all changes were made to the report.

Note: ‘Red’ color stands for words removed in the updated report and ‘Green’ color for words added.

An archived version of the first updates report can be found here.

An archived version of the updated report can be found here.

Interestingly, the aforementioned ‘The Hindu’ report was updated within a few minutes after publishing. The original version of the above-mentioned report is not available on the web and it is nowhere specified in the report what was updated and when.

Another news outlet The Indian Express, which has a history of publishing reports through unverified sources, made the same claim as that by ‘The Hindu’.

An archived version of the first updated version of The Indian Express report can be found here.

The latest version of The Indian Express report can be found here.

The Indian Express in its report claims to have spoken to the Medical Superintendent of Ahmedabad Civil Hospital namely ‘Dr. Gunvant H Rathod’. The report further claims that Dr. Rathod told the publication, “Generally, there are separate wards for male and female patients. But here, we have made separate wards for Hindu and Muslim patients. (On being asked about the reason Dr. Rathod said) It is a decision of the government and you can ask them.”

The aforementioned report further claims that there are almost 150 COVID patients in the hospital, out of which, at least 40 belong to the Muslim community.

The report published by The Indian Express was further amplified by many prominent journalists and politicians such as Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi, TMC MP Mohua Mitra, India Today Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai and his journalist wife Sagarika Ghosh, Rana Ayyub, Kavita Krishnan, Prashant Bhushan, Sanjay Singh, Saba Naqvi, Swati Chaturvedi, Shama Mohamed, Alfons Lopez Tena, moneycontrol, Smitha Nair, Nirjhari Sinha, National Herald, Mitali Saran, Ali, Real Report, Ashok Swain, Man Aman Singh Chhina, Tarek Fatah, Jignesh Mevani, Ajit Anjum, Isaac Chotiner, Swaraj India, Khaled Beydoun, Lt Gen H S Panag (Retired), Seema Chishti, Rakesh Sharma, GK Zhimomi, Muzamil Jaleel, Kawalpreet Kaur, Karuna Nundy, Pooja Pillai, Snehesh Alex Philip, Avinash Dutt, Spandan Srivastava, Vimlendu Jha, Saif Ullah Khan, Omar R Quraishi, Niraj Bhatia, Bumbai Ki Rani, Paranjoy Guha Thakurata, Nishita Jha, Zafar Sareshwala, Suresh Mathew, Parmesh Shahani, Faraz Arif Ansari, Dushyant, Liz Mathew, Aamer Javeed and Debasish Roy.

We searched the social media accounts of the concerned hospital and we found the statement of the doctor, The Indian Express claims to have spoken to, has alleged that the outlet has misquoted him.

The statement of the doctor can be viewed below.

When we searched further, we found a tweet by the official Twitter handle of The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom where the body has condemned the segregation of the patients on the basis of religion.

Replying to the aforementioned tweet, Anurag Srivastava who is the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, India, has suggested that the USCIRF  ‘stop adding religious color to India’s national goal of fighting the COVID 19 pandemic.’

Additionally, we found a tweet made by the Gujarat arm of Press Information Bureau which has denied the allegations levied against the concerned hospital.

Similarly, in a tweet, the Department of Information in Gujarat,, rubbished the claims of segregation of COVID-19 patients on the basis of religion. 

The Health & Family Welfare Department of the Gujarat Government has also clarified the issue in a Twitter thread.

Since the government has denied the allegations of segregation of COVID-19 patients on the basis of religion and the doctor whom the outlets claim to have spoken, alleges to be misquoted, here’s a list of questions that make the report carried by the two news outlets look suspicious.

  1. If Dr. Rathod said that the segregation is taking place on the orders issued by the government, did the outlets try to ask for a copy of the order? If yes, did they get the same? If yes, why was the copy of the order not mentioned in the report?
  2. The Indian Express claims to have spoken to Dr. Rathod and some of the patients as well, is there a video/audio proof for the same? If yes, why is the same not mentioned in any of the updated versions of the report? Since the Government has denied the acknowledgment of any segregation on the basis of religion, the best practice would be to produce the proofs of the conversations which according to the outlet took place inside the hospital.
  3. The Indian Express claims to have spoken to the district magistrate of Ahmedabad and the Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat and both have categorically denied the acknowledgment of any such segregation. Now, since the outlet has not been able to produce a copy of the order, how did the outlet reach the conclusion that segregation has taken place based on an order issued by the government?
  4. In the report published by ‘The Hindu’, the outlet has mentioned that the said information was provided by a special correspondent, why did the outlet not ask for the proof of testimony of the patients or the statement made by the ‘anonymous doctor’ it has mentioned in the report?

Basis the statement of Dr. Rathod of Ahmedabad Civil Hospital and a clear denial of several government bodies, we reached the conclusion that the two outlets mentioned above, published a ‘False’ report which was later amplified by several verified Twitter handles. Also it is noteworthy that despite being called out by the government, both ‘The Hindu’ and ‘The Indian Express’, in spite of adding proofs to their respective reports, have merely updated the reports by adding the government’s denial. 

Sources

  • Google Search
  • Twitter Advanced Search

Result: False

(If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form)

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