Newspaper clipping reporting on introduction of 6% GST on the Sunday Church Mass offertory money by the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh.
A Google search for “Yogi Govt,” “6% GST”, “ Sunday Church Mass” & “UP” did not yield any relevant news report. Further, we looked up these keywords of Facebook which led us to several posts from 2018, signalling that the picture has been doing rounds on social media platforms for at least the past four years. One such post by user @bashahdhar featured another version of the image, clearly showing ‘Times Of India’ written on the masthead of the newspaper clipping.
On carefully analysing the image we found the font of the viral headline about 6% GST to be different from those of others seen in the newspaper clipping. The headline ended with a full stop, unlike the others. Additionally, only the viral headline’s text can be seen in two colours -black & red.
Newschecker continued our investigation to further dig out the truth behind the viral image and looked up the viral headline on Times of India’s official website, which did not throw up any relevant result. Following this, we looked up “Friends, kin behind 97% kidnaps” -headline seen in both the images- on Google, which led us to a Times Of India report, dated January 11, 2010.
Taking a clue, we searched for the January 11, 2010 edition of the Times Of India newspaper in the archive section of its website. This yielded a list of articles that were published on the aforementioned date. All the other articles except for the viral headline can be seen.
Notably, the other articles seen in the viral image were published in the January 2010 edition of Times of India. But GST was introduced in India only in 2017.
The search on Facebook also led us to a post by @chophikas, dated June 8, 2018. Displaying the viral image along with another Times of India newspaper clipping, the post said, “This particular headline which reads that BJP Govt in UP has introduced 6% GST on the Sunday Church Offertory money has been in circulation for quite sometime. Actually this is a morphed photo…”
A closer look at both the images led us to conclude that, leaving the headline about 6% GST, the newspaper clippings were identical. Instead of “BJP Govt. in UP introduces 6% GST on the Sunday Church Mass offertory money. New Law passed in U.P,” the headline in the second news clipping shared by user @chophikas read, “Ex-PM Gowda Spews Abuses at K’taka CM.” The font of this headline was also in sync with the stylesheet of the newspaper.
We also spotted the article titled ‘Former PM Gowda calls CM Yeddyurappa a ****’ in the list of articles published on January 11, 2010 on the Times Of India, indicating that the user @chophikas was indeed correct in terming the viral image as “morphed.”
We could thus conclude that the viral image has been digitally altered.
Result: Altered Photo
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