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HomeFact CheckViralFact Check: Newspaper Clip Claiming Rahul Gandhi Was Detained in Boston in...

Fact Check: Newspaper Clip Claiming Rahul Gandhi Was Detained in Boston in 2001 For ‘Possession Of Drugs’ Is Fake

Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Claim
News report of Rahul Gandhi’s ‘arrest’ in the US in 2001 for possession of drugs

Fact
Fake newspaper clipping generated by online tool

A newspaper clipping, dated September 30, 2001, purportedly of an Indian politician being detained in Boston airport after he was found to be in possession of drugs and unaccounted cash, has gone viral on social media. Several social media users have shared this clipping, claiming that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was arrested in Boston for possession of drugs and that he was released after intervention by then Prime Minister AB Vajpayee. The viral news clipping, quoting “sources”, said the accused is a son of a former Indian prime minister and that he was later released after the intervention of the Indian ambassador to the US, as per AFP. We have received this claim on our Whatsapp tipline, too.

 The archived versions of the tweets can be seen here and here.

Fact check

Newschecker noticed that the masthead of the newspaper resembled that of ‘The Boston Globe’. However, the dateline, apart from being in a different style, included an extra comma, reading, “Sunday, September, 30, 2001…”, raising our doubts.

A fake newspaper clipping generated using an online tool has gone viral, with the false claim that Rahul Gandhi was detained at Boston airport in 2001 for possession of drugs.

When we looked up page 13 of the September 30, 2001 edition of the newspaper, we did not find the viral news report, indicating that the clipping was digitally created.

A fake newspaper clipping generated using an online tool has gone viral, with the false claim that Rahul Gandhi was detained at Boston airport in 2001 for possession of drugs.

An image search led us to fodey.com, an online newspaper clipping generator, where after you input required details, you can generate a newspaper clipping.

A fake newspaper clipping generated using an online tool has gone viral, with the false claim that Rahul Gandhi was detained at Boston airport in 2001 for possession of drugs.

This was what we got after we entered the text from the viral clipping in the specified fields of the online tool, confirming that the viral newspaper clipping was generated using the same.

A fake newspaper clipping generated using an online tool has gone viral, with the false claim that Rahul Gandhi was detained at Boston airport in 2001 for possession of drugs.

Newschecker also looked up AFP’s website for the viral story, which did not throw up any relevant reports. We then ran a keyword search for “Rahul Gandhi Boston arrested drugs”, which led us to The Hindu report, dated September 30, 2001. “With the U.S. security agencies leaving nothing to chance after the September 11 terrorist strikes, sleuths of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) ‘detained’’ Mr. Rahul Gandhi, son of the former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, and the Leader of the Opposition, Ms. Sonia Gandhi, for about an hour at the Boston airport early this week, sources here said,” read the report. The report, quoting unnamed sources, did not provide a reason for the detention.

“Diplomats are pointing to the heightened security precautions in the U.S. in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. Besides different layers of security check at airports, many are subjected to some intense questioning by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other investigative agencies,” read the report, further confirming that the viral report was false.

A fake newspaper clipping generated using an online tool has gone viral, with the false claim that Rahul Gandhi was detained at Boston airport in 2001 for possession of drugs.

Conclusion

A fake newspaper clipping generated using an online tool has gone viral, with the false claim that Rahul Gandhi was detained at Boston airport in 2001 for possession of drugs.

Result: False

Sources
Image analysis
Fodey.com, online newspaper clipping generator
The Hindu report, September 30, 2001


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Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Kushel HM
Kushel HM
Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

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