On January 26, the leader of the opposition in West Bengal, BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari posted a video and alleged that All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) leader and former MLA Purna Chandra Bauri and other leaders sang the national anthem while hoisting the AITC flag. In the video, we can see people singing the national anthem in front of an AITC flag.

Twitter accounts @BefittingFacts and @MeghBulletin shared Adhikari’s tweet. Their tweets gained over 1,000 retweets each. Both these users are influencers in the counterfactual community in India. Alt News has documented multiple instances of them spreading misinformation – @BefittingFacts and @MeghBulletin.

Twitter-based news portal News Arena India, RSS-mouth piece Organiser Weekly and Hindi media outlet Punjab Kesari tweeted the same claim or “reported” the incident based on Adhikari’s tweet.

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Using the social media tool, CrowdTangle, we found that about 20 prominent Facebook users posted this video on January 21. A majority of them were by/on pro-government Facebook pages/groups such as —Nation with NaMo [over 14 lakh followers], JP Nadda BJP Group [over 35K followers]; The Saffron Sword [over 40K followers]; and Achievements of Modi Govt [over 1K followers].

Video verification

Alt News spoke with AITC member Purnachandra Bauri from the Raghunathpur assembly in Purulia. He confirmed that the viral video shows him and his associates during January 26 Republic Day celebrations. He told Alt News over a telephonic call that this event took place at Raghunathpur and the viral video is misleading.

He shared multiple images and videos from the same event that prove the viral video is either cropped or shot in a way that it doesn’t show the national flag next to the AITC flag. It’s worth noting that the national flag is hoisted on a higher flagstaff.

Photo credit: Purnachandra Bauri

The video below is shot from an angle where only the national flag can be spotted.

The following image compares two screenshots from the viral video with a screenshot from the above-mentioned video shared by Bauri. Both videos were taken at the same event. This is established as the same people can be spotted in both videos.

Regional news media outlet Khabar Ananda fact-checked this video on January 27. BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari thus posted a misleading video alleging that TMC members sang the national anthem on Republic Day while unfurling the party’s flag. The video had cropped out the Indian national flag.

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About the Author

Archit is a senior fact-checking journalist at Alt News. Previously, he has worked as a producer at WION and as a reporter at The Hindu. In addition to work experience in media, he has also worked as a fundraising and communication manager at S3IDF.