Lawyer threatened of legal action for posting image of UP government hoarding in Bengaluru

Written by Md Mahfooz Alam

On 12 July, a Bengaluru-based lawyer and co-founder of the website Bar and Bench, Shishira Rudrappa, shared an image of a  hoarding placed near the Bengaluru city airport route with the claim that the Uttar Pradesh government has started the election campaign in Karnataka.

The hoarding features an advertisement of the Uttar Pradesh government which reads: ” Uttar Pradesh is number one state of the country” and “government job to four lakh youths”. The advertisement also has photos of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The caption along with the post reads: “UP election campaign has begun in Karnataka“.

Shishir Singh, the Director of Information & Public Relations of the Uttar Pradesh government replied to the post of the lawyer and called the hoarding fake. He also tagged UP DGP and Cyber Police in the tweet. The caption along with the post of the officer reads: “Be responsible. Don’t spread fake news please. No such advertisement given anywhere in the State of Karnataka.” 

Cyber police UP replied to Shishir Singh and tweeted: “Appropriate legal action will be taken against this Twitter handle.

The fact-checking Twitter handle of the Uttar Pradesh government also called the hoarding posted by the lawyer fake. The fact-check by the official handle reads: “#FakeAlert: कनार्टक में लगी ‘उत्तर प्रदेश देश में नं.1, 04 लाख युवाओं को सरकारी नौकरी’ वाली होर्डिंग #InfoUPFactCheck: ‘उत्तर प्रदेश में 04 लाख युवाओं को सरकारी नौकरी’ वाली होर्डिंग कर्नाटक में लगी होने का पोस्ट शेयर किया गया है। यह पूर्ण रूप से असत्य है।”
(#FakeAlert: Hoarding in Karnataka ‘Government job to No. 1, 04 lakh youth in the country of Uttar Pradesh’ #InfoUPFactCheck : The post of ‘Government job to 04 lakh youth in Uttar Pradesh’ hoarding has been shared in Karnataka. This is completely untrue.) (Archived)

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/Screengrab)

However, Mr Rudrappa did not bow down to the threaten by the UP officer. He stood his ground by politely responding: “Mr Shishir Ji, What fake news is this? I just put a picture of the hoarding you have put all over Bangalore Airport! Anyone can see this !

He also gave evidence of the hoarding by posting two more videos. In one of the videos he pointed out the location of hoarding along with the truck of Bangalore Airport and he also pointed out ‘JCDecaux’ the official hoarding partner of the Airport.

On 13 July, Mr Rudrappa posted the other video in which the hoarding was removed. He claimed his team, however, managed to capture the video.

Several Twitter users have also claimed that the same advertisement hoardings are there in other cities. Journalist Rohini Sing in a series of tweets posted photos of similar hoardings being used in Delhi everywhere. She also asked Mr Rudrappa to file a defamation case against the officer  Mr Shishir Singh for threatening and defaming him with the false accusation.

A Twitter handle Yuva Halla Bol posted photos of a similar UP government advertisement hoarding being used in Delhi. They took the potshot at the UP government by holding the banner of “Fake News Spotted” by standing next to the hoardings.

Here is an old YouTube video of a drive from Bangalore to the Airport. At 22:47, one can actually spot the same location where the viral hoarding is now placed.

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About the author

Md Mahfooz Alam

Mahfooz is a multimedia journalist and regularly writes fact-check stories for Facto News. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. He has worked as an intern fact-checker for The Quint. He specializes in research and fact-checking and aspires to do investigative reporting.

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