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A pregnant elephant’s death in Kerala got communalized



Kerala: A 15-year-old pregnant Elephant died in Palakkad district of Kerala on 27th May,  where multiple news agencies reported the incident as an elephant was fed cracker stuffed pineapple. This news has shaken us all and the social media was flooded with posts condemning the act and demanding the Kerala Police to book the culprit(s).

In the meantime, a few sections of social media started blaming Muslims for the death of the elephant, Tarek Fatah a Pakistani born Canadian, tweeted “The atrocity of feeding a pregnant elephant with pineapple full of firecrackers & killing her, took place in the Mallapuram district of India’s Kerala State. The district is the only Muslim-majority district of the state with an over 70% Muslim population. What are the chances?“. (Archive)

A twitter user @kaalicoffee wrote, “Getting to know that the pregnant elephant was killed in Kerala was in an area dominated by Muslims. The act was doe because Hindus consider elephant sacred…”.  She took down the tweet after it went viral.

Here is another tweet from the user after taking down the tweet.

Another user Madhur(@ThePlacardGuy) tweeted a video where he says “हाथी को भगवन मानते हो और फिर उन्ही भगवन को मार दिया, मल्लापुरम में ये घटना हुआ है, मैं चाहता हु की आप लोग Google पर जा कर मल्लापुरम का demographic चेक करो और खुद हे पता लगा लो की किसने मारा, अग्रर मैं बोल दूंगा की किसने मारा तोह आप लोग मुझे Islamophobic बोलने लगोगे ” (We believe that elephants are sacred and to be worshiped but on the other hand they were being killed. Please go to Google and search for demographics of Mallapuram, you will come to know who killed Elephant, if i tell you who killed it, you will start calling me Islamophobic.)

Archive link

Union minister Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, tweeted that his government has taken a very serious note about the incident that happened in Mallapuram district of Kerala.  (Archive)

BJP MP from Sultanpur UP has also tweeted the “Mallapuram is know for its intense criminal activity especially with regards to animals. ” (archive)

Find more tweets here

It all begun with misleading news published by multiple agencies, which claimed that the incident happened in Malappuram district.

FactO Check:

Where did The Incident happen? 

The incident happened in the forest area of Palakkad District of Kerala, The forest area is on the border of Palakkad and Mallapuram district. CM Pinarayi Vijayan tweeted, “In a tragic incident in Palakkad dist, a pregnant elephant has lost its life. Many of you have reached out to us. We want to assure you that your concerns will not go in vain. Justice will prevail.”.

The NewsMinute editor-in-chief Dhanya Rajendran also tweeted that the incident had not taken place in Malappuram, but in Kottopadam panchayat in Mannarkad in Palakkad district.

How the Elephant Died?

As per the initial report and news agencies claim, the elephant died after eating cracker stuffed pineapple offered by someone.  According to Fact check published by IBT, it was learned that the reason for the elephant’s death was due to asphyxia where water had got into her lungs and trachea. Dr David Abraham, Assistant Forest Veterinary Officer, Thrissur, carried out the “preliminary postmortem” on May 28.

Even Kerala Forest Department has tweeted that, “There’s no conclusive evidence that injury to lower jaw was caused by pineapple stuffed wd cracker. However, this may be a possibility. Dept. has booked offence against unknown offenders, whose identity is being established.

As per an article published by The Quint, Mannarkkad District Forest Officer K Sunil Kumar clarified that there is no confirmation that the animal had consumed a pineapple, as dictated by media reports.

He said that the locals could not have fed a fruit stuffed with live firecrackers to a wild elephant inside the forest as that would be very dangerous.

“The animal had sustained injuries because of explosives in its mouth. This was an act done by some people living in the forest fringes to keep the animals away from his or her cultivated land. But this was not done intentionally to kill a pregnant elephant,” he told The Quint.

Many social media users have deliberately tried to give the incident a communal spin by claiming that the incident happened in Malappuram district, a Muslim majority district in Kerala. Multiple news agencies and fact-check websites have denied this claim.

ClaimReview: Pregnant Elephant killed in Mallapuram, a district known for violence again animals

Claim By: Menaka Gandhi, Prakash Javadekar

Fact Check by Facto News: MISLEADING

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Fake News

Times Now and Zee News have falsely claimed that Rhea named Sara Ali Khan, Rakul Preet in her statement to NCB



Mumbai: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has arrested late actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik Chakraborty for their alleged role in procuring drugs for him. During the on-going investigation, Navika Kumar of  Times Now, on her “The Newshour” show mentioned that the NCB has a list of 25 A-Listers who are allegedly involved in drug consumption. Further, she claimed that top NCB sources have shared details of Rhea’s confession and she has named Sara Ali Khan, Rakul Preet Singh and Designer Simone Khambatta in her statement.

Times Now has reported that Rhea Chakraborty confessed that Rakul Preet and Sara Ali Khan have consumed drugs with her and Sushant Singh Rajput in his Lonavala farmhouse. Ever since the show aired, fake news has taken social media by storm. There are various posts that Sara Ali Khan and Rakul Preet are summoned by the NCB. On September 12, a tweet from a parody account of  Satish Maneshinde, Rhea’s lawyer went viral. The tweet (now deleted) claimed that Sara Ali Khan, Rakul Preet Singh and Simone Khambatta are summoned soon by the NCB.

Did Rhea name Sara, Rakul Preet Singh to NCB? Drug agency denies the claim

This is not the first time Times Now caught spreading lies. Times Now has also tweeted a screenshot of the tweet made by a fake account pretending to be Sushant Singh Rajput’s sister Meetu Singh.

Zee News, Siasat Daily, Odisa TV, and Hindustan Times has covered this fake claim. Zee News heading goes by “Sara Ali Khan, Rakul Preet Singh memes go viral on internet after Rhea Chakraborty reveals names to NCB”

FactO Check: 

According to Free Press Journal, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has denied preparing any such list of Bollywood celebrities for their alleged drug consumption. NCB deputy director KPS Malhotra has told Free Press Journal that, “We have not prepared any Bollywood list. The list earlier prepared was of peddlers and traffickers. It’s getting confused with Bollywood.” When asked about Rhea’s confessing names f Sara Ali Khan, Rakul Preet Singh and Simone Khambatta in her statement, the officer said, “The names have not been zeroed upon”.

News 18 reports, ‘NCB has denied that Rhea Chakraborty during interrogation, gave names of 25 A-listers in the film industry who consumed drugs with her and the late actor’.

Conclusion: The NCB has denied making preparing the list of so called 25 A-Listers based on Rhea’s statement. Times Now and Navika Kumar’s report on this issue is found to be false and misleading.

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Fake News

Fact Check: Sudha Murthy is not selling vegetables.



Bengaluru: A photo of Mrs. Sudha Murthy, chairperson of Infosys, sorting vegetables is viral across social media with different claims. While some of the social media users claim that Sudha Murthy sells vegetables, one day every year to get rid of her ego. Others claim that she does this as a part of seva at Raghavedra Swamy Mutt. (Archive)

Surbhi, an IRS officer as per her twitter profile shared Mrs. Sudha Murthy’s photo with a fake claim which went viral, received over 3000RT.

Sakshi TV, a regional news channel from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana published the images on their YouTube channel claiming that Sudha Murthy is selling vegetables.


FactO Check:

Sudha Murthy has been participating in several seva programs for many years. A simple Google reverse image search has directed us to many websites that talked about her participation in seva programs. One India Kannada has published an article about Mrs. Murthy’s participation in seva programs. There are several images of Mrs. Murthy in the article doing various tasks like serving meals, washing utensils, washing fruits for the Panchamruta in the Mutt.

According to an article published by Bangalore Mirror in 2013, Sudha Murthy spends three days every year in seva programs. As per the article,  She wakes up at 4 am, reaches to the Raghavendra Swamy temple located in Jayanagar, Bengaluru, goes to the kitchen, and spends the next 4 hours cleaning the kitchen, washing utensils, chopping vegetables, and taking care of inventory of stock.

Sudha Murthy believes that “Giving money is easy because it is a simple transaction. But doing physical Seva is not”. She also says that “In the eyes of God we all are equal, but not in the eyes of the society”.

Conclusion: It is true that Sudha Murthy participates in seva programs. But the claim, “Sudha Murthy sells vegetables” made by Sakshi TV and other social media users is found to be false. According to the Mutt officials, Mrs. Murthy was maintaining the storage facility and sorting vegetables, but not selling them.

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Fake News

The viral video of Delhi Police beating a child is not 8 months old




Delhi:  The Mojo Story has posted a video on 24th AUG in which a Policeman can be seen beating a child with Lathi. The Mojo Story is a Video blog platform run by Barkha Dutt. As soon as the story went viral on Twitter, BJP Delhi leader Kapil Mishra quoted the tweet and claimed that the video is 8 months old.

Mishra has over 800K followers and his tweet went viral, he also created a false claim that man was a chain snatcher and attacked the Police with a blade.

“Fake News by Barkha Gang, This is 8 months old video, The guy is a chain snatcher caught when he was attacking women on road with blades he attacked the cops as well with blades”
This claim went so viral, can be found here.

A Delhi Based Journalist Raj Shekhar Jha also made the same claim about the video. Jha’s tweet from his official/verified handle went viral on social media. He claimed that Delhi Police has clarified that Video is 8-month old, and the guy was a chain snatcher.

“The video of a policeman beating up a man in Delhi is eight months old. The guy in question is a snatcher who was caught while using blades to attack people during the crime. Before the video was shot, he had attacked the cops as well, Delhi Police has clarified” (Archive)

His tweet went viral along with Mishra’s. People started sharing a screenshot of Raj Shekhar’s tweet with Mojo story’s to target Barkha Dutt and Mojo Story. Rishi Bagree, a relentless purveyor of misinformation has also shared Raj Sekhar’s tweet along with Mojo Story’s. The same post he made over his Facebook page also got over a thousand shares.

FactO Check:

We will investigate all three claims of Kapil Mishra here., (1) Video is 8 months old, (2) Man is chain snatcher, and (3) He attacked Police. Since the video went viral everyone was waiting for the Truth, even the Mojo had no evidence to prove if the video is latest or old, They made a tweet saying they are trying to get details from stranger who sent them the video.

This morning, Indian Express has published an article “Inquiry ordered against Delhi cop after a video of him beating child goes viral”,  According to the article, The police believe the incident took place on August 22, when the constable was on night duty and found some children lying on the road in the area. “He asked them to leave, but when he came back 30 minutes later, he found them lying in the same location. He then started beating a boy with a lathi (stick). A passerby recorded the incident,” a senior police officer said.

So this clarifies that all the 3 claims made by Mr. Kapil Mishra are found to be Fake.

Conclusion: The video posted by Mojo Story is found to be the latest and the claim made by Mishra and others about the video is found to be FALSE.


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