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SAD Leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa Misleads Pakistan Punjab With Indian State Punjab

Manjinder Singh Sirsa, currently an MLA from Delhi’s Rajouri Garden constituency, has once again created a buzz on social media. Sirsa shared a news link on Twitter and claimed that the entire education system in Punjab is in a declining state and the education minister is not doing his duty properly. He also accused the minister of absconding from his duties. Manjinder Singh Sirsa’s tweet reads, “CM @capt_amarinder Ji, your part-time batsman @VijayIndrSingla ran away in the middle of innings; it’s time you come to the crease and answer on the deteriorating standards of education in Punjab.

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Shiromani Akali Dal leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa shared a news link and claimed that the standard of education is deteriorating in the state of Punjab and the education minister of the state has no answer for this declining state and is absconding from his duties.

Verification

Manjinder Singh Sirsa, currently an MLA from Delhi’s Rajouri Garden constituency, has once again created a buzz on social media. Sirsa shared a news link on Twitter and claimed that the entire education system in Punjab is in a declining state and the education minister is not doing his duty properly. He also accused the minister of absconding from his duties. Manjinder Singh Sirsa’s tweet reads, “CM @capt_amarinder Ji, your part-time batsman @VijayIndrSingla ran away in the middle of innings; it’s time you come to the crease and answer on the deteriorating standards of education in Punjab.

Another news report points out the sorry state of affairs.” To back his claim with facts, he also produced a news website link.

 

 

As we began to fact check this claim, we first checked if the link shared by Sirsa is authentic. Before checking the authenticity of the report shared by Sirsa, we tried to know whether the website is authentic or not. While searching the authenticity of the website, we found that the website is being operated from Pakistan’s Punjab province.

Since the registrant’s country is shown as Pakistan, it raised our eyebrows and we began to collect more information about the aforementioned website. While visiting the website, we also noticed that the website’s homepage clearly mentions that it is a Pakistani magazine

It was clear from various findings that the website belongs to Pakistan but the claim shared by Sirsa was yet to be verified. Since international media has a noteworthy presence in India, the possibility of a Pakistani news website reporting India based news should not be surprising so we further decided to investigate the content of the report shared by SAD leader Sirsa.

1.5 million Children Remain Out Of School In Punjab In 2019

With the year 2019 seeing its way out, some 1.5 million children remain out of school in Punjab, the number only a slight improvement over the 1.59 million children that could not be enrolled in schools in year 2018 .

When we proceeded to read the article, we got to know that it is clearly mentioned in the article that the website is a premier education magazine of Pakistan. The bio of the website reads, “The Academia Magazine is the premier education magazine of Pakistan and is passionate about bringing positive change in Pakistan’s educational ecosystem. We combine years of academic know-how with industry & policy expertise to offer useful educational insight and advice that you have been looking for.”

The report published on 26th December 2019, goes with the headline “1.5 million Children Remain Out Of School In Punjab In 2019”. The first line of the second paragraph of the article shared by Sirsa names Sardar Usman Buzdar as Chief Minister of Punjab.

It created confusion since we know that the chief minister of Punjab is Captain Amrinder Singh. We tried to collect more information about Sardar Usman Buzdar and we found that he is the chief minister of Pakistan’s Punjab province. The Wikipedia profile of Sardar Usman Buzdar reads, “Sardar Usman Ahmad Khan Buzdar (Urdu: سردار عثمان احمد خان بزدار‎) is a Pakistani politician who is the current Chief Minister of Punjab, in office since 20 August 2018.” We also found that the hyperlinked text in the report redirects to another report in which it is clearly mentioned that the report talks about Pakistan’s Punjab province not the Indian state of Punjab.

A detailed version of the hyperlinked report can be viewed below.

Punjab School Enrolment Drive 2018 Falls Short Of Target…By 1.59 Million

What is 1.59 million worth? As a mere number, the value seems pretty ordinary. But if it comes to the fate of this many people, it becomes quite another story. The value is the number of children that the Punjab government’s latest school enrolment drive failed to get back to schools.

We also found a tweet made by Punjab education minister Vijay Inder Singla who was accused of absconding from his duties in Sirsa’s tweet. Singla’s tweet reads, “.@MSSirsa at least use the link which speaks of Punjab in India & not Punjab in Pakistan, before spreading fake news & displaying utter ignorance. Now we know why have u been talking about schools, cuz you urgently need to go back to one to take basic lessons!”

From what we found during our verification, we reached the conclusion that the claim shared by Manjinder Singh Sirsa is ‘Misleading’ as the report produced by him to back his claim talks about Pakistan’s Punjab province, not the Indian state Punjab.

Sources

  • 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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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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