A Twitter user, Ritesh Kumar, posted a collage of pictures featuring journalist Ravish Kumar and CPI’s Begusarai candidate Kanhaiya Kumar at a roadshow. The message posted with the photo-montage is trying to make a claim according to which a man was set up to garland Kanhaiya in presence of Ravish Kumar. The tweet below has three pictures which claims to represent a sequence of events in which a worker [volunteer] was hiding a BJP cap that was later given to a man standing in front of Kumar. It further claimed that the man donned the BJP cap just before garlanding Kanhaiya Kumar. The post attempted to tarnish the credibility of the journalist by calling the entire episode “propaganda”.
रविश बाबू बेगुसराय की धरती पर भी अपने टीम के साथ मिल कर प्रोपगंडा फैलाना नहीं छोड़े।
Pic 1 BJP के टोपी को छुपा कर पहले से रखते हुए एक कार्यकर्ता
Pic 2 फिर उस टोपी को कन्हैया के साथी पहनते हूए
Pic 3 बीजेपी की टोपी पहन कर कन्हैया को माला पहनाते हुए और रविश बाबू रिपोर्टिंग करते हुए pic.twitter.com/KIdZ8WQLa3
— Ritesh kumar (@Minkkeybihari) April 12, 2019
— Bhaiyya ji [ Chowkidar ] (@shrialokmishra) April 12, 2019
A Facebook user, Gandhar Agarwal, was among those who posted the meme with an identical narrative. It has been shared more than 2000 times so far. An archived version of the post can be accessed here.
Alt News found that the narrative circulating on social media is false. The series of events, depicted in the photomontage, are actually in reverse order.
Ravish Kumar recently visited Begusarai, Bihar to cover Kanhaiya Kumar’s campaign trail. Alt News contacted the journalist to inquire about the incident.
We have accessed the recording of the said event where a man donning a BJP cap and scarf approaches Kanhaiya Kumar and garlands him. In the video posted below, it is evident that man was already sporting the cap when he met the Begusarai candidate and removed it after Kanhaiya Kumar’s supporters urged him to. Thus, the allegation that the entire incident was a set-up is false. The sequence of events were reversed in order to make the false claim.
In the past as well, Ravish Kumar has often found himself in the crosshairs of purveyors of misinformation attempting to malign his credibility. Kanhaiya has also been incessantly targeted on social media with misinformation.