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HomeFact checkViral Audio Clip Criticising Protests Against CAA Falsely Attributed To Lawyer Harish...

Viral Audio Clip Criticising Protests Against CAA Falsely Attributed To Lawyer Harish Salve

A viral audio clip criticising protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act has been attributed to Supreme Court lawyer Harish Salve. The five-minute audio clip has been circulating on Whatsapp with the caption, “Senior Lawyer Supreme court Mr. Harish Salve alerts. Listen carefully”. 

In the audio clip, one can hear the person say, “Ever since the Citizenship Amendment Act was passed in the parliament, a clutch of opposition parties backed by religious groups have been protesting. Protesting for what? Even they don’t know. For sure they know they’re protesting against Narendra Modi…” The person goes on to call protestors “crooks” and “traitors” and adds that they constantly change “goal posts”.

The five-minute fifteen-seconds audio clip can be heard below.

Newschecker received this claim on its Whatsapp tiplipe for verification. 

Screenshot of claim "Audio clip criticising protests against CAA attributed to Harish Salve
Screenshot of claim “Audio clip criticising protests against CAA attributed to Harish Salve

Also Read: Fake Matrimonial Newspaper Clipping Shared Online Created To Encourage COVID-19 Vaccination

Fact Check / Verification

While listening to the audio clip, Newschecker found that the person speaking identified himself as Suresh Kochattil at the 1.34 minute timestamp. 

Searching the name on Google led us to Kochattil’s LinkedIn profile where he describes himself as the Chief Operations Officer at Janam TV, a Malayalam news channel. 

We found a Facebook profile with the same name where Kochattil describes himself as the “Former Social Media at Bharatiya Janata Party.” Going through his profile we found a post shared last year in which he clarified the claim in context to be false. Kochattil confirmed he recorded the audio clip, and not Harish Salve. 

Kochattil posted the audio clip on his Facebook profile in August 2020 with the caption, “An old audio clip of mine is going viral on WhatsApp. It was recorded and released during the anti CAA agitation. Over the last few days, many friends have called / messaged me to confirm it was me and not Harish Salve, as many claimed. If you listen to it closely, at 1:34, i mention by name. Hope this clears the confusion.”

He further added, “A few months ago, a video of mine got credited to Justice Srikrishna, so much so that he had to issue a clarification that it was not him. I hope Harish Salve ji is not forced to undergo this trouble.”

Previously, Kochattil received backlash on social media for another one of his audio clips in which he said only the upper middle class and rich were affected by the Kerala floods. “He also claimed that electricity supply is intact in many areas. He went on to say those affected by floods require only skilled labourers like electricians and carpenters and asked people to arrange for these instead of sending them cash,” reads a report by The Week

Also Read: Old Photograph Of PM Modi Bowing To Chief Functionary Of An NGO Morphed To Show Nita Ambani

Conclusion

The viral audio clip criticising protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act has been falsely attributed to Supreme Court lawyer Harish Salve. The audio clip was made by Janam TV COO, Suresh Kochattil. 

Result: Misleading 

Our Sources

Suresh Kochattil: https://www.facebook.com/527473847/videos/10157551614748848/

The Week: https://www.theweek.in/news/india/2018/08/20/Man-who-said-Kerala-floods-affected-only-rich-a-member-of-BJP-IT-cell.html


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Nikita Vashisth
Nikita is a writer and editor for English fact-checking. She also leads projects to understand the misinformation and fake-news ecosystem—with an emphasis on data and psychology. Previously, she has worked with IndiaSpend, CNN-News18 and written for Citizen Matters and Mongabay-India on the environment, health, and politics. She’s a postgraduate of the Computational Journalism program at Cardiff University, Wales.

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