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Viral lies: exposed

Last updated on January 11, 2020

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:  Deepika Padukone’s film ‘Chhapaak’ is inspired by the life of acid attack survivor Laxmi Aggarwal who was attacked by 32-year-old Naeem Khan in 2005. A section of the media has claimed that the movie portrays Khan as ‘Rajesh’. Based on an IMDB link which identifies the screen name of one cast members as ‘Rajesh’, Swarajya published an article claiming, “the accused is said to have been named ‘Rajesh’ in Deepika’s movie.” BJP Haryana IT cell head Arun Yadav tweeted a photograph of Aggarwal and wrote, “In 2005, a man named Nadeem Khan threw acid on her in Delhi’s Khan Market. To keep the fabric of secularism intact, our Bollywood has named Nadeem ‘Rajesh’ in the film. #NameItLikeBollywood”.  But the claims are false. According to PTI journalist Radhika Sharma’s report, “In the Meghna Gulzar directed film, there is no mention of any Nadeem Khan. Moreover, Rajesh is the name of Malti’s boyfriend.”

What was shown: A video of a girl’s abduction has resurfaced on social media with the caption “This video is horrifying what’s happening in Pakistan today. These Muslims beat the hell out of this young Hindu girl and her mother & was forcefully taken away. Please I beg of everyone opposing the #CAA please re-think, in 1951 there were 12.9% Hindus in Pakistan & now only 1.6%.” But The viral video dates back to September 2017. The incident took place in Bap tehsil in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.


What was shown: A disturbing video from Bihar is viral with several false claims including one that claims a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader lynched a man after he refused to say ‘Jai Shri Ram’. The video from Bhabhua in Kaimur district of the state shows a person lying on the street in an unconscious and bloody state while his attacker kneeling across his torso hits him while chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram.’ In other videos online, the man also jumps on the other lying in an unconscious state. But Dilnawaz Ahmed, Superitendent of Police said the incident is not communal in nature and it was personal fight caused by Shahid shooting dead a friend of Patel, Madhav Singh. The police said that all three including the deceased Singh are known criminals in the area.

What was shown: On January 6, a day after the recent attack on Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) by masked assailants armed with lathis and iron rods, several social media users posted two images of sex toys with the claim that these belong to students of JNU. One Twitter user @Shubham85395292 posted the images and said, “Last evening, after the violence on JNU campus, student’s precious property was damaged including condoms and sex toys. But the images are unrelated and one of the image was posted by Reddit user Reed Himself in 2015. The other image was uploaded by pscully, a user on Imgur, on February 2018.