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Viral lies: exposed

Misinformation through whatsapp forwards —videos and photos — spreads like wildfire. Here is our compilation of fake whatsapp videos that went viral and the reality behind these distorted facts

What was shown: In a viral video, a group of armed security personnel can be seen conducting an operation, where one armed man was neutralised and another was killed. “Two terrorists sneaked inside Ambaji temple: one arrested, one killed -translated),” reads its caption. But this was a mock drill to check their readiness ahead of the coming elections, organised by Banaskantha district police.

What was shown: A post that went viral, along with photos of empty chairs, suggests that people refrained from participating in a Shah-Yogi rally, even though food packets were placed on the chairs to lure them. But these are old images that were circulated as being recent.

What was shown: A video, which shows a stationary ambulance in front of a police barricade, followed by a long stream of vehicles, went viral. It has been claimed that this particular ambulance was stopped by the police so that BJP MP Manoj Tiwari’s convoy could pass. But this happened in 2017 near the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, and the route was blocked as the convoy of the Head of Malaysia was to pass from the area.

What was shown: An image of finger-casts was viral with the claim, ‘Beware. Fake fingers being made for casting votes, I don’t know where we are going?’ The post makes a fervent appeal to voters to stay alert as “fake fingers” were being created by political parties to rig the election. But these have no connection to the Indian elections – they are actually prosthetic fingers that were created for Japan’s feared Yakuza gangsters.