In the backdrop of actor Naseeruddin Shah’s vocal support for the ongoing farmer’s protest, several Twitter accounts have cropped up in his name. On February 8, Twitter handle @naseruddin_shah posted a tweet criticising the supporters of political parties opposing the farmers’ protest. “Bootlicking and slavery of the parties will not satisfy your hunger. You will need food to fill your stomach. Support farmers if your conscience is alive,” reads the tweet. (तलवे चाटने और पार्टियों की गुलामी करने से पेट नहीं भरेगा, पेट को भरने के लिए, अनाज चाहिए इसलिए ज़मीर ज़िन्दा है, तो किसानों का समर्थन करें, सहमत #रिट्वीट.) It has garnered over 9,000 retweets so far.

The account has put out several tweets in support of the farmers this month.

Journalist Nidheesh MK posted a screenshot of another Twitter handle (@NaseeruddiinSah) and asked whether the account belonged to the actor.

Fake accounts

A Twitter search for the handle @naseruddin_shah revealed that it earlier operated with the username @RakeshTkaite, possibly impersonating farmer leader Rakesh Tikait.

Last year, the actor had also taken to Instagram to clarify regarding fake Twitter accounts created in his name.

After getting called out on Twitter, @naseruddin_shah has now added a description in the bio which says, “Not affiliated With Naseeruddin Shah ,FC, Parody”. As of this article, the account has over 60,000 followers. At the time when he posted pro-farmers’ protest tweets in Shah’s name, the account did not have a bio (screenshot on the right).

Since Naseeruddin Shah has clarified that he is not Twitter, the account @NaseeruddiinSah has also been created by an imposter. Moreover, it neither has a huge follower base nor is it verified.

Therefore, Twitter accounts impersonating actor Naseeruddin Shah posted tweets about farmers’ protest. It may be reiterated that the actor is not on Twitter. This is not the first instance when a Twitter account impersonated a prominent personality. In January 2020, an imposter account had quote-tweeted Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan calling for support towards Kashmiris against “oppressive government.” Last year, a video of VHP leader was shared as Naseeruddin Shah’s brother supporting the Citizenship Amendment Act.

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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.