A screenshot of an alleged news piece uploaded by news summary mobile application Inshorts is massively viral on social media. It claims that a Kerala couple passed away after refusing an ambulance with a saffron Hanuman sticker.
Indu Makkal Katchi, a Hindu nationalist party in Tamil Nadu, shared the image writing, “Unbelievable if true, someone please verify”. (Archived link)
It was also shared by M Seenivasulu Reddy, who identifies as a ‘hardcore supporter’ of PM Modi and home minister Amit Shah, on Twitter. (Archived link)
The graphic is massively widespread on Facebook.
The viral screenshot is fake and there are several red flags that give this away.
1. The news has been credited to Hindustan Times but no such report was found on its website. In fact, Hindustan Times had published a report where the same image of an ambulance with a Hanuman sticker has been used. However, the report is not about any ‘Kerala couple’. It’s an article on COVID-19 highlights.
The news was also not reported by any other media organisation.
2. The image is from Bangalore. The description of the image reads, “Family members and undertakers carry the body of a victim who died of the Covid-19 coronavirus at an open-air crematorium set up for the coronavirus victims inside a defunct granite quarry on the outskirts of Bangalore on May 8, 2021…” It is evident that the ambulance was used to transport a victim of COVID to a crematorium. The image has been credited to Manjunath Kiran from AFP.
Furthermore, the ambulance reads Prasanna Ambulance Services which is in Bangalore.
3. No such news was found on Inshorts. Furthermore, the format of the viral graphic does not match Inshorts graphic. Alt News has compared the viral graphic with a genuine Inshorts graphic. The shade of the text in the body of the summary is much darker than the one in the genuine graphic. There is also no information about where and when the incident took place in the viral graphic.
A representative from Inshorts told Alt News, “This news piece hasn’t been published by us on Inshorts. This is a doctored image.”
A fake graphic was created to falsely claim that a Kerala couple passed away after refusing an ambulance with a Hanuman sticker. This false news was manufactured against a pregnant Muslim woman alleging that she was denied admission to Janana Hospital in Rajasthan last month owing to her religion. The woman delivered her baby in an ambulance and the infant had died.
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