Saturday, October 23, 2021
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HomeEnglishIndian Media Cites Fake Twitter Page on B'desh Durga Puja Vandalism Coverage

Indian Media Cites Fake Twitter Page on B’desh Durga Puja Vandalism Coverage

New Delhi: A day after violence marred Durga puja festivities in Bangladesh over alleged desecration of the Holy Quran, several users took to Twitter to share videos and images of attacks and vandalism of puja pandals across Bangladesh. Bangladesh Hindu Unity Council (@UnityCouncilBD) is one such twitter account that posted multiple videos and images of vandalism and attacks on various puja pandals across the country. It describes itself as the official twitter page of the Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council or the bhbcop.org, in its bio. A fact check by Newschecker has found this to be a fake account.

The page gained prominence in the hours following the vandalism of the Durga puja pandal in Cumila, Bangladesh, with several prominent people retweeting the videos and images that it shared with sharply worded captions, some even provocative.

Some of the sharply worded tweets put out by the twitter page Bangladesh Hindu Unity Council

Several Indian news portals like Scroll.in, Times Now, India Today, ThePrint and OpIndia also cited the tweets put out by the twitter page.

Screengrab of the article published by Scroll.in
Screengrab of the article published by Times Now
Screengrab of the article published by OpIndia

Fact Check/Verification

On an inspection of the twitter page @UnityCouncilBD by Newschecker, it was found that the page listed itself as the Twitter page of Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council with the website bhbcop.org.

The cover image of the page also shows leaders of various faiths, including the Pope, among Hindu, Buddhist and Islamic leaders. The page also carries a verified badge or the ‘blue tick’ further lending it authenticity. It is also followed by senior leaders who support the BJP, including Arun Yadav (State in-charge for BJP Haryana IT department), Shefali Vaidya, author and columnist, psephologist  and political commentator Pradeep Bhandari, Suresh Chavhanke of Sudarshan news and R Jagannathan of Swarajya among others.

Senior leaders and journalists among followers of the page

Newschecker found the contact information of the office bearers of the organization through its Facebook page. Speaking to Newschecker, Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council General secretary Rana Das Gupta denied that the page represented them. A similar message was also put up by the Council in their Facebook page on July 16, 2021.

Advocate Deepankar Ghosh, the organizing secretary of its Central Committee, also said the same. “We do not have any Twitter page. The page in reference does not belong to us. We have contacted our local authorities regarding the same and have filed a legal complaint against it,” Ghosh said.  

The council’s IT expert Suvra DeV Kumar further confirmed to Newschecker that the organization only has digital presence in three platforms- a website, a Facebook page and a news portal and that the Twitter page did not belong to them. “We have sent a letter to the Telecommunication regulatory authority and the Home Ministry of Bangladesh to take down the twitter page” Kumar added.   

@UnityCouncilBD has also shared tweets by another page called @VHPBangladesh. On contacting Kapil Mondal, General Secretary, VHP Bangladesh, we were informed that VHP Bangladesh has no official twitter page either. “I would know about it if we had such an official twitter page. This is a fake account that is retweeting @UnityCouncilBD,” Mondal told Newschecker on his way back from the field visit at Cumilla.

Conclusion

The page @UnityCouncilBD is falsely posing as the official page of Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council.

With inputs from Dil Afrose Jahan in Bangladesh


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