“Wink like Priya Varrier and you will be debarred, Coimbatore college tells students!” This was the headline of an article published by the English language daily Times of India on March 18, which was later withdrawn. According to the report, VLB Janakiammal College in Coimbatore, TN has issued a circular which says that girls who are found winking like actress Priya Varrier will be debarred for one year.

The article talks about the circular which states that faculty members have complained about female students ‘imitating the viral eye winks of Ms. Priya Prakash Varrier’. It further says that CCTV cameras have been installed in all classrooms to monitor such behaviour. The circular has been posted below.

This image of the document was floating on social media, with a number of users posting and sharing it, believing it to be true. It also raised doubts among some users.

This news was given credence to by no less a publication than Times of India, but as it turned out, the circular was fake. VLB Janakiammal College, Coimbatore has confirmed through a Facebook post on March 18 that no such circular has been issued. It also added that a circular had been issued in January 2018 in which students were informed that henceforth, fresh juices would be served on campus in place of soft drinks.

This the original version and the only version.
Pls note that it was issued on 24/1/2017.
There are no other…

Posted by VLBJ College of Arts & Science on Sunday, March 18, 2018

Moreover, if you look at the circular, it is dated January 24, 2018 whereas Priya Varrier’s teaser for her upcoming movie became famous in February, 2018. Also, a closer look at this circular reveals that the original document has been tampered with. In the space where the text has been printed, an outline of a rectangle can be seen which suggests that the original text has been replaced. Boomlive in an article had pointed this out.

A Twitter user @beastoftraal too brought this to the notice of social media users.

The article has now been removed from the Times of India website and cannot be accessed any more.

This is not the first time that prominent media organisations have missed a step when it comes to reporting news. The report was published without verifying its authenticity and later retracted, when a preliminary check would have sufficed.

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.