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Arif Aajakia’s Recent Tweet About Cynthia Ritchie Is Misleading

This claim comes after Ritchie accused Pakistan’s former interior minister of raping her and former PM Yousaf Raza Gilani of physically manhandling her.

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Arif Ajaakia Cynthia Richie

Claim 

A tweet posted on 12 June 2020 claims that Cynthia Ritchie rode a bicycle in Pakistan and said that she felt safe doing so in April 2018. She was raped and sexually assaulted by multiple officials in Pakistan, but scared for her life she kept quiet for nine years. 

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The above claim is posted with two different images of Ricthie.

The same claim was posted by other users on Twitter and Facebook

Fact Check

The tweet in context makes a claim about Cynthia Dawn Ritchie, who describes herself as a writer, director, and producer on her social media accounts. The claim reads as follows: 

Cynthia Ritchie: Pakistan is very secure for women, I rode bicycle in this country & felt so safe-Twitter April 2018.

I was sexually assaulted and raped by multiple officials and ministers in Pakistan, kept quiet for 9 years because I was scared for my life -Twitter June 2020. 

This claim comes after Ritchie accused Pakistan’s former interior minister of raping her and former PM Yousaf Raza Gilani of physically manhandling her. Both these politicians are part of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). While the ministers have denied her allegations, Ritchie is ready to defend her claims in the court of law, states this DW report

On 5 June, 2020, Ritchie did a live Facebook video in which she detailed her allegations against ministers of the PPP.  Related details can be read in the news reports linked here and here

To the above mentioned claim, Ritchie responded via a tweet on 16 June, 2020. In her response she says that the image of her on a bike is from a short film she did in 2015 and that local media used this image out of context. Read her tweet below: 

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Through a Facebook search we found a post by Ricthie from October, 2015 which includes the short film she’s referring to in her response tweet. She can be seen cycling at 1:01 minute in the video posted below. The bike scene in the video matches the image posted in the claim. 

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For further confirmation we contacted Cynthia Ricthie who clarified that she’s never said anything mentioned in the claim. Read her response to us below:

I never said that. He is taking what I’ve said, manipulating the words and using the images out of context. 

I’ve accused one man of rape and others of manhandling/assault – some accounts have been documented by authorities but not released to public, yet. 

Keep in mind this man’s current and previous political history.

Regarding the second image in the claim, we found that it was taken from Ritchie’s Facebook live on 5 June. You can watch the full video linked below:

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Conclusion

The claim made in Aajakia’s tweet which implies that Cynthia Ritchie spoke about riding a bicycle in Pakistan and feeling safe as well as being raped by multiple officials in Pakistan is misleading. While she did accuse one minister of rape and other ministers of manhandling her in Pakistan, she never expressed the words mentioned in the tweet. 

Also, the image of Ritchie on a bicycle is from 2015 and used out of context in the claim. Ritchie’s confirmation to us via email and related materials linked in this story make it clear that the claim in context is misleading and false. 

Tools Used 

  •  Google advanced search
  • Twitter advanced search

Result: Misleading and False

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Fact check

Old Video Of A Prank Pulled On ‘Dance India Dance’ Shared With Misleading Claims

The original video is from season 5 of the reality show which aired on 27 June, 2015 featuring a prank on judge Punit Pathak.

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Video of a prank featured on 'Dance India Dance' shared with misleading claims

A Twitter user claimed that a BJP leader’s son auditioning for Dance India Dance, Noida, along with his father got in a fight with the judges. This claim was accompanied by a video which shows a man in a verbal quarrel with judges of the reality dance show. 

The tweet reads, “A BJP top leader’s son auditioning for Dance India Dance (Noida edition) created a disgusting & shameless scene along with his father & other goons. Welcome to “REAL” India ! Jai Ho.”

Other users shared similar claims. 

Fact Check/ Verification 

The 44-second video in context is from a dance reality TV show: Dance India Dance. The video clip shows a contestant’s father in a verbal spat with judges saying his son didn’t get a fair chance to perform on stage. The father claims to be a 

We found a fact-check report by Boom from 10 September. The video clip has been taken from season 5, episode one of the dance show aired on 27 June, 2015. The original video is over an hour long, and the clip from the claim can be viewed at  45-minute timestamp. 

At the 46-minute timestamp, while the quarrel continues, music begins playing which shows the fight was a prank played on the judge, Punit Pathak. You can watch the entire episode on Zee5.com. 

Episode 1, Season 5 of Dance India Dance which featured a prank on judge Punit Pathak
Episode 1, Season 5 of Dance India Dance which featured a prank on judge Punit Pathak

Conclusion 

The claim on a BJP leader fighting over his son’s audition on reality show ‘Dance India Dance’ is misleading. Video clip in the claim was taken out of context. The original video is from episode one, season five of the show in which a prank was pulled on the judge, Punit Pathak. 

Result: Misleading 

Our Sources

Zee5.com: https://www.zee5.com/tvshows/details/dance-india-dance-season-5/0-6-113/dance-india-dance-season-5-episode-1-june-27-2015-full-episode/0-1-32044

Boom: https://www.boomlive.in/fake-news/no-this-is-not-a-bjp-leader-threatening-judges-of-dance-india-dance-9686


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2018 Image Of MI-17 Helicopter Crash Shared With Misleading Claims Related To Ladakh

The photograph in context is of an IAF cargo MI-17 helicopter that hit an iron girder, while landing near Kedarnath temple in April, 2018.

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2018 image of MI-17 helicopter crash in Kedarnath shared with misleading claims related to Ladakh.

A social media user claimed that an Indian MI-17 helicopter crashed in Ladakh on 13 September 2020. The user, Irmak Idoya इरमक ईड्या, shared an image which shows a helicopter crash with this claim. 

Mubasher Lucman, an anchor and investigative journalist in Pakistan (as per his Twitter profile) shared a similar claim which received 9.5K likes and 2.1K retweets at the time of writing this fact check. 

Fact Check/ Verification 

A reverse image search of the photograph in the claim led us to an April 2018 article published by Times of India (TOI). Titled, “IAF helicopter collides with iron girder, catches fire; one person killed,” the article reports on an Indian Air Force cargo helicopter MI-17 catching fire while landing in Kedarnath in April, 2018.

The photograph from the claim is included in the TOI article along with other images from the crash in Kedarnath. Carrying construction material from Guptkashi to Kedarnath, the MI-17 chopper “reportedly caught fire after it hit an iron girder while it was attempting to land in a helipad near the Kedarnath temple.”

Times of India report on MI-17 helicopter crash in Kedarnath, 2018
Times of India report on MI-17 helicopter crash in Kedarnath, 2018

India Tv News also reported on the MI-17 crash in Kedarnath in 2018. This article includes the photograph from the claim. NDTV too reported on the Indian Air Force helicopter crash near Kedarnath temple in Uttarakhand in 2018. 

NDTV report on MI-17 helicopter crash in Kedarnath, 2018

On 15 September, Press Information Bureau Fact Check debunked the claim stating, “The claim is #Fake. The wreckage exhibited is of a helicopter crash that happened in 2018 near Kedarnath, Uttarakhand. No such incident has taken place recently anywhere in #Ladakh.”

This claim is being widely circulated on social media as India, China stand-off in eastern Ladakh continues. In recent news, both countries have alleged the other of firing shots in the air as a provocation. 

Recently, we debunked another claim attributed to India, China clashes in eastern Ladakh.

Conclusion 

Our research makes it clear that the photograph in the claim is from an Indian Air Force MI-17 helicopter crash in Kedarnath, Uttarakhand in April 2018. The cargo chopper collided with an iron girder while attempting to land near Kedarnath temple. 

Result: Misplaced Context

Our Sources

Times of India: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/iaf-helicopter-collides-catches-fire-pilot-among-four-injured/articleshow/63590906.cms

India Tv News: https://www.indiatvnews.com/news/india-mi-17-helicopter-catches-fire-while-landing-near-kedarnath-temple-in-uttarakhand-live-updates-435610

NDTV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_BqngzkDz8

Press Information Bureau Fact Check: https://twitter.com/PIBFactCheck/status/1305793162271625216?s=20


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Social Media Posts Claiming Sridevi’s Death ‘Not A Natural One’ Are False

“Death of Indian actress Sridevi occurred due to drowning in her hotel apartment’s bathtub following loss of consciousness,” tweeted Dubai Media Office.

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Social Media Posts Claiming Sridevi’s Death ‘Not A Natural One’ Are False

Many social media users claimed that Sridevi’s death was not a natural one. We received one such claim on our Whatsapp helpline number as an image. The image is a screenshot of a tweet which reads, “Postmortem report of sridevi. Clearly says not a natural death. Rich elites kill people as per their needs.” 

This was shared from a Twitter handle @RealArnab7 with an alleged image of Sridevi’s autopsy report issued by the United Arab Emirates. You can read the claim below. 

Image of @RealArnab7 claiming Sridevi's death not natural
Image of @RealArnab7 claiming Sridevi’s death not natural

Other social media users shared similar claims related to the Hindi cinema actor’s death in Dubai. 

Some users have also claimed that Kangana Ranaut released the autopsy report in context. 

😭Cine Actress Sridevi's death is not natural or accidental. 😭Post morterm report says that she was thrown into bathroom tube after no pulse(clinically died). Actress Kangana Ranaut released PM report.

Posted by Samoogamatram on Saturday, August 29, 2020

Fact Check/ Verification 

The claim on Indian actress Sridevi’s death not being a natural one has resurfaced on social media platforms after news on actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death was reported. 

On 26 February, 2018 Dubai Media Office tweeted, “death of Indian actress Sridevi occurred due to drowning in her hotel apartment’s bathtub following loss of consciousness.” 

Dubai-based newspaper, Gulf News, provided a detailed account of the actor’s death and the steps taken to transport her body to Mumbai. The 28 February 2018 article includes a forensic report which confirms that the actor died due to accidental drowning. 

28 February 2018 Gulf News report on Sridevi's death
28 February 2018 Gulf News report on Sridevi’s death

The article also states that the “Dubai Police transferred the case to Dubai Public Prosecution after it was found that Sridevi had died due to accidentally drowning in the bathtub inside her hotel room. This necessitated further legal procedures and clearances for flying her mortal remains to India.”

Further, we could not find any other credible source which supports the initial claim. Nor was the alleged viral report shared by the Dubai government. Also, grammatical and punctuation errors in the alleged autopsy report gave way to suspicion on it being fake. 

Also note, the Twitter handle (@RealArnab7) shown in the initial claim’s image, which shared the alleged autopsy report claiming Sridevi’s death was not natural, no longer exists. 

Twitter account with handle @RealArnab7 does not exist anymore
Twitter account with handle @RealArnab7 does not exist anymore

Conclusion 

Our research makes it clear that Sridevi’s death occurred due to accidental drowning in her hotel room in Dubai. Posts which state that the actor passed away an unnatural death due to external toxins injected in her body are false. 

Result: False 

Our Sources

Dubai Media Office: https://twitter.com/DXBMediaOffice/status/968088864266088448?s=20

Gulf News: https://gulfnews.com/entertainment/bollywood/bollywood-diva-sridevi-cremated-with-full-state-honours-in-mumbai-1.2178719


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