Dangerous, manufactured audio clip used to claim Pulwama terror attack an inside job by BJP

A Facebook Live posted by Avi Dandiya on March 1, where he claimed that the Pulwama attack was orchestrated by the BJP, has received over a million views in less than 24 hours. During his FB live, Dandiya presented an audio clip of an alleged conversation between home minister Rajnath Singh, BJP chief Amit Shah and an unidentified woman where it seemed that the trio was planning an attack on Indian jawans to arouse nationalistic sentiments in the country.

[Update: Dandiya took down his video after Alt News’s fact-check was published. However, not before it attracted 2 million views and over one lakh shares. A YouTube link of the said Facebook Live can be accessed below.]

Dandiya’s FB live was picked up various Pakistani websites, including thepost.com.pk, defence.pk, siasat.pk, zemtv.com, dailycapital.pk, ARY News.

Pakistani political commentator Zaid Hamid also shared a YouTube link of Dandiya’s video.

Alt News, however, found that the audio clip presented by Dandiya was completely bogus and manufactured by lifting different portions of old interviews given by BJP leaders. Parts of these interviews were conjoined to make it seems that Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah were discussing a ploy to kill Indian soldiers.

Twitter user Arif Khan alerted people about Dandiya’s fake audio clip which has caused quite a stir among both Indian and Pakistani social media users.

About the portions involving Amit Shah, social media user Smit Amin reached out to Alt News, specifying the original videos that were used to morph the BJP chief into the audio conversation. This article has been updated with Shah’s statements, which can be found in the last sub-section.

Transcript of the alleged conversation

An approximate transcription of the audio clip presented by Avi Dandiya can be found below:

“AMIT SHAH – देश की जनता को गुमराह किया जा सकता है. और हम मानते भी है चुनाव के लिए युद्ध करने की ज़रुरत है. (The country’s citizens can be misled. And we believe that war needs to happen for elections.)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN – आपके कहने से ये तो नहीं होता है अमितजी बिना मुद्दे के आप युद्ध कैसे करेंगे। अगर आतंकवादी हुम्ला करते है तो आतंकवादी हमले की करवाई हो सकती है. (It can’t happen just because you said so, Amitji. War cannot be fought without a motive. If terrorists attack then the terror attack can be investigated.)

RAJNATH SINGH – जवानो के सवाल पर हमारी देश बहुत सेंसेटिव है, बहुत संवेदनशील है भावना उनके अंदर कूट कूट कर भरी है (Our country is extremely sensitive when it comes to jawans. They are filled with emotions for them.)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN – देश के जवानो को शहीद करवाना है? (You want to martyr the country’s jawans?)

RAJNATH SINGH – काम के लिए कमज़ोर होते है? (Are you weak for this kind of work?)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN – एक-दो से कुछ भी नहीं होगा, उरी किया था कुछ भी नहीं हुआ. अभी चुनाव है, देश की सुरक्षा को लेके आप बड़ा मुद्दा बना सकते है. उसपे राजनीती खेलिए (Nothing will happen with just 1-2 jawans. We did Uri but nothing had happened. Elections are here, you can make national security your focus. Play politics on it.)

RAJNATH SINGH – देश की सुरक्षा से जुड़े हुए सवालो पर इस तरह की राजनीती की जानी चाहिए (Questions related to national security should be politicised.)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN – राजनीति के लिए आप युद्ध करना चाहते है? एक काम करते है कश्मीर में या कश्मीर के आस पास… (You want to start a war for politics? Let’s do something, Kashmir or areas near Kashmir…)

RAJNATH SINGH- जम्मू और श्रीनगर (Jammu and Srinagar)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN – वहा ब्लास्ट करेंगे, कुछ आर्मी डेड, कुछ पैरामिलिटरी फोर्सेज डेड, या कुछ CRPF डेड. एक 100-50 जवान मरेंगे तो सारे देश के देशभक्ति एक जगह हो जाएगी…(We can cause a blast there, some army dead, some paramilitary forces dead, some CRPF dead. If 100-50 jawans die then the country’s nationalism will be unified…)

TRACK CHANGE…MUSIC

RAJNATH SINGH – बहादुर जवानो के शहादत पर इस तरीके की राजनीति आनी चाहिए। (The martyrdom of soldiers should be politicised.)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN – क्या गन्दी पॉलिटिक्स है अमित जी? (This is dirty politics Amit ji.)

AMIT SHAH – नहीं, ये पॉलिटिक्स नहीं है भाई. (This is not politics.)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN – तो फिर है क्या ये? पॉलिटिक्स ही है गन्दी पॉलिटिक्स। (Then what is it? It is dirty politics.)

AMIT SHAH – मुझे सीधा पूछ रहे हो? सुनिए अब, क्यों हुआ कैसे हुआ| (You are asking me directly. Fine listen why this happened, how it happened.)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN – मुझे नहीं सुनना है अमित जी, वैसे भी मैं नहीं करुँगी तो कोई और कर देगा। बॉम ब्लास्ट करवाना है बॉम ब्लास्ट करवा देते हैं. आप लोग जैसे चाहते है वैसा हो तो जाएगा। देश के जवान शहीद होंगे उनके घर का माहौल क्या होगा आपने कभी सोचा है उसके बारे में? (I don’t want to listen, Amit ji. Anyway, if I don’t do it, someone else will. You want a bomb blast, we will make it happen. Whatever you people want, it will happen. If the country’s soldiers are martyred, have you thought about what will happen to their families?)

AMIT SHAH – देश के हर सैनिक घर का वातावरण क्या होगा? (What will be the condition at every soldiers’ homes?)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN – खौफ बैठ गया है और क्या? (There’s a growing fear.)

AMIT SHAH: डर बैठ रहा है, खौफ बैठ रहा है, और कोई रास्ते नहीं होते। (A fear is growing, there is no other way.)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN – रास्ते तो बहुत होते है अमित जी, EVM था न आपके पास, ये सैनिकों को मरवाना जवानो को मरवाना ये मुझे समझ में नहीं आ रहा है। फिर भी आप चाहते हैं तो ब्लास्ट करवा देंगे। सौ पचास जवान मरेंगे, वैसे भी आप ही कहते हैं ना जवान सेना में भर्ती होते हैं शहीद होने के लिए लेकिन दुश्मन के साथ अब आप लोग भी दुश्मन बने हुए हैं सेना के तो कौन क्या कर सकता है? (There are many ways, Amit ji. You had EVM, didn’t you? I cannot understand why do you want to martyr soldiers and jawans? Anyway, we will make the blast happen if you want it. 100-50 jawans will die but don’t you only say that soldiers join the army to get martyred? But if you are also becoming the army’s enemy along with the enemy itself, then what can anybody do?)

AMIT SHAH – ऐसा ही होगा हम कैसे बदल सकते हैं उसको? (This will only happen, how can we change things?)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN – मुझे बहस नहीं करनी आपसे, काम कर देंगे, पैसे भिजवा दीजियेगा और 12, 13 फरवरी तक ये सारा कुछ ताम-झाम करके आपको मैं फिर फ़ोन करती हूँ. पैसे भिजवा दीजियेगा। (I don’t want to argue with you. I will get your work done, just send me the money. I will again call you around February 12-13, send me the money.)

AMIT SHAH – मै बताता हूँ। (I will let you know.)”

The truth of the audio conversation involving Rajnath Singh

The part when home minister Rajnath Singh says, “जवानो के सवाल पर हमारी देश बहुत सेंसेटिव है, बहुतसंवेदनशील है…”(Our country is extremely sensitive when it comes to jawans…)”, has been picked up from a February 22, 2019, interview of Singh with India Today. This was the first interview given by the home minister after the Pulwama attack.

At 8:39 minutes, Singh says, “जवानो के सवाल पर हमारी गवर्नमेंट बहुत ही सेंसिटिव है, बहुत ही संवेदनशील है (Our government is extremely sensitive when it comes to jawans.)” The word “jawans” was replaced with “country” in the audio clip posted by Dandiya.

At 10:41 minutes, the home minister says, “राष्ट्रभक्ति की भावना उनके अंदर कूट कूट कर भरी होगी (He is filled with nationalistic emotions.)” Here, Singh was talking about lieutenant general Deependra Singh Hooda, the former general officer commanding-in-chief of the Indian army’s northern command. The word “राष्ट्रभक्ति (nationalism)” was not included in the audio clip to stick to the context of the conversation. Dandiya wanted to portray that the home minister was talking about emotions for the country’s jawans, not the nation.

At 5:10 minutes in the interview, Rajnath Singh says, “कम से कम देश की सुरक्षा से जुड़े हुए सवालो पर इस तरह की राजनीती नहीं की जानी चाहिए (At least questions related to the country’s security should not be politicised.)” This statement was in response to anchor Sweta Singh’s questions about the Congress’s allegation that the prime minister was busy in Jim Corbett at the time of the Pulwama attack.

The truth of the audio conversation involving Amit Shah

As alerted by Smit Amin, Alt News went through the original interview videos of Amit Shah that were used to manufactured the audio conversation.

The part where the BJP chief says, “देश की जनता को गुमराह किया जा सकता है. और हम मानते भी है चुनाव के लिए युद्ध करने की ज़रुरत है ( (The country’s citizens can be misled. And we believe that war needs to happen for elections.),” has been picked up from a 2018 interview of Shah with Zee News’s Sudhir Chaudhary.

The first part of the statement – “देश की जनता को गुमराह किया जा सकता है (The country’s citizens can be misled)” – was uttered by Shah at 4:47 minutes in the original video where he spoke about PDP, Congress and NC coming together to form government in J&K.

The second portion of the statement – “और हम मानते भी है चुनाव के लिए युद्ध करने की ज़रुरत है (And we believe that war needs to happen for elections) ” – was also lifted from the same interview at 21:33 minutes. However, the word “नहीं (nahi)” was clipped in the manufactured audio.

In the audio presented by Avi Dandiya, there is a part where the unidentified woman calls his politics “dirty”. To this, Amit Shah replies, “नहीं, ये पॉलिटिक्स नहीं है भाई. (This is not politics.)” This statement was picked from the BJP chief’s address at 2016 India Today conclave. To an audience question, “can’t education be left out of politics?” Shah replied at 50:37 minutes, “नहीं, ये पॉलिटिक्स नहीं है भाई. (This is not politics.)”

The concluding statement of the manufactured audio clip was,  “मै बताता हूँ। (I will let you know.)” This too was lifted from the above-stated address when a member from the audience asked, “when will you get back Dawood Ibrahim and black money into the country?” and Shah’s reply was made at 52:19 minutes.

Alt News was unable to locate a few statements uttered by Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh as part of the alleged conversation and match it to their publicly available videos. However, the investigation till now is substantial to suggest that the remaining statements were also cherry-picked from either the politicians’ speeches or interviews. We will update this article as and when we locate further information. The manufactured audio clip was a malicious attempt by Avi Dandiya to exploit his online popularity and portray that the Pulwama terror attack was a conspiracy concocted by the Indian government. Dandiya claims to be a non-resident Indian whose page has over two lakh followers. The millions of views and lakhs of shares on his Facebook Live indicate the massive number of individuals who believe it to be true.

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