In the early hours of December 6, news emerged that the four accused in the Hyderabad rape and murder case were gunned down in a police encounter, close to the scene of the crime. Reporting on the development, several TV news channels broadcast a picture, claimed to be the first visual of the site of the encounter.

The above image is a screenshot of a broadcast by Zee News, which flashed the picture with a watermark, ‘FIRST ON ZEE NEWS’, accompanied by the anchor stating, “Watch these pictures, first broadcast on Zee News. After shooting the perpetrators, Zee News brings you these visuals of police action (translated from Hindi).” The video is posted below.

Another prominent news channel which broadcast the image as an ‘exclusive’ visual was the Gujarati news channel TV9Gujarati.

Other news organizations which broadcast this image as a photograph of the encounter include the Telugu news channel ABN Telugu and TV9BharatVarsh.

The image has also been shared by social media users as a photograph of the recent encounter.


Alt News found the image in question does not represent the recent encounter in Hyderabad. It was published in 2015.

Upon reverse-searching the image, Alt News found a news article published by The Hindu published in April 2015, titled ‘20 woodcutters from TN gunned by A.P. police‘. According to the report, these men were shot dead in an alleged encounter in the Seshachalam forest at the foot of the Tirumala hills where they were found felling red sandalwood.

The image in question dates back to 2015. This however did not prevent several TV news channels from broadcasting it as ‘exclusive’ and ‘first’ visual of the Hyderabad encounter. The story was earlier fact-checked by Boom.

About the Author

Arjun Sidharth is a writer with Alt News. He has previously worked in the television news industry, where he managed news bulletins and breaking news scenarios, apart from scripting numerous prime time television stories. He has also been actively involved with various freelance projects. Sidharth has studied economics, political science, international relations and journalism. He has a keen interest in books, movies, music, sports, politics, foreign policy, history and economics. His hobbies include reading, watching movies and indoor gaming.