IANS falls for fake account of Sara Pilot attacking Ashok Gehlot via tweets

A section of the media republished a report by news agency IANS claiming that rebel Congress leader Sachin Pilot’s wife Sara Pilot in a series of tweets tagged to Congress party said “big magicians started sweating when we go to Delhi”, apparently referring the magician to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. Below is a screenshot of the IANS feed republished by Outlook.

Other organisations that carried the story were Free Press Journal, Dainik Jagran and Newstrack.

Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government is in crisis in Rajasthan after Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot claimed the support 30 MLAs and said that Gehlot’s government is in minority. The Rajasthan Congress Legislature Party has passed a resolution supporting the current government.

FACT-CHECK

The tweet in question was made by Twitter account ‘Sarah Sachin Pilot (@SarahSachin)’ on July 12.

This is an imposter account and not Sara Pilot’s official account. The first obvious give away is that her name is misspelt as ‘Sarah’. Below is a tweet where her brother and former Chief Minister of J&K Omar Abdullah refers to her as ‘Sara’.

The same spelling mistake is also present in the IANS copy.

Another clue that the account is fake is its bio which says, “The Spelandra of Kasmir.” The misspelling of ‘Kashmir’ is a mistake that Sara, a native of the region, would not make. The handle has also made other spelling and grammatical errors such as — “brands ambassador” and “politics”. Furthermore, it does not have a verified blue tick which a prominent individual’s account would.

Sara Pilot does not have an official handle on Twitter. IANS fell for an imposter account and several media outlets republished its feed. Earlier the news agency had fallen for a fake account of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s father. In fact, IANS has a history of falling for fake accounts including those of Raghuram Rajan and Biplap Deb.

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