On December 21, 2019, Ashok Shrivastav, a senior journalist with DD News, posted a purported screenshot of a BBC Hindi tweet which said, लखनऊ : ड्राइवर समझाता रहा कि भैया ये NDTV का वैन है, लेकिन उपद्रवी नही माने और वैन को फूंक दिया! Lucknow: Driver kept explaining that the van was NDTV’s but the hooligan did not listen and set the van on fire.

Posting the alleged screenshot, Shrivastav opined, “दंगाई को हीरो बनाओगे तो एक दिन जलेगा तुम्हारा घर भी ये दंगाई है, किसी एक बाप का थोड़ी ही है -परेशान इंदौरी जी ने @ndtv के लिए शेर भेजा है। (You make a rioter a hero and someday your own will also burn. These are rioters, they are not someone’s father.)”

Multiple social media users on Twitter and Facebook shared the same claim.


A search for such a tweet from the official Twitter handle of BBC Hindi bore no results. Editor Mukesh Sharma from BBC Hindi took to Twitter and dubbed the screenshot “fake”. He said, “It’s a fake tweet. @BBCHindi hasn’t tweeted any such thing.”

Moreover, we contacted NDTV journalist Alok Pandey, who is based out of Uttar Pradesh, to inquire about the veracity of the claim. In a conversation with Alt News, Pandey rubbished the claim that an NDTV van was torched. He said, “No they did not torch our van but it did get damaged. Three other OB vans were set on fire by a mob at the same location in Parivartan Chowk, Central Lucknow. As soon as the mob broke loose, Subhash (OB van technician) jumped into the van despite taking stones to his body and drove off the OB van as it was.” He further informed us that all the window panes of their van were shattered in the attack, however, it wasn’t burnt. Pandey added that an FIR has been filed against unidentified people for vandalizing the vehicle.

Protests against the Citizenship Act 2019 turned violent on December 19, 2019, in several parts of Lucknow including Parvivartan Chowk. On December 20, The Hindu reported, “More than two dozen vehicles, including a State bus, TV media OB vans and police vehicles, were torched at different locations as parts of old Lucknow witnessed chaotic scenes.”

In conclusion, a fake screenshot of BBC Hindi was shared by social media users including DD News anchor Ashok Shrivastav to claim that an NDTV van was torched by anti-CAA protesters in Lucknow. Several media OB vans were reportedly torched by a mob in Lucknow but NDTV’s van had managed to escape, though all its windows were shattered.

About the Author

Jignesh is a writer and researcher at Alt News. He has a knack for visual investigation with a major interest in fact-checking videos and images. He has completed his Masters in Journalism from Gujarat University.