Gangster-turned-politician and former BSP leader Mukhtar Ansari died of a cardiac arrest in a Uttar Pradesh jail on March 29. Days after this, a one-minute clip of Union home minister Amit Shah went viral on social media where he stated, “We have done the biggest work by getting rid of NIZAM. Do you know what is NIZAM? Do you? You don’t know what is NIZAM. I will tell you.” Shah proclaims how BJP freed Uttar Pradesh from ‘NIZAM’, an acronym for Nasimuddin Siddiqui, Imran Masood, Azam Khan, Atique Ahmed and Mukhtar Ansari.

Social media users have shared the clip and claimed that the home minister suggested that Mukhtar Ansari had been targetted and killed by the BJP.

An X (formerly Twitter) user, @MukeshMohannn, shared the clip on X with the caption, “Amit Shah is saying that BJP got us freedom from Mukhtar Ansari. Doesn’t it appear like Shah poisoned Ansari with his own hands?” The tweet received close to 1.5 Lakh views and 2,500 retweets. (Archive)

Another X user, @janardanmis, shared the video with the caption, “मोटा भाई तो खुल्लेआम पेलते हैं, मुख्तार अंसारी से किसने मुक्ति दिलाई वो आप मोटा भाई से सुनिए” (Archive)

A parody page of actor Prakash Raj, @PrakashRofl, shared the video on X and claimed that “Amit Shah is saying that Bharatiya Janata Party got us freedom from Mukhtar Ansari. Meaning that it was not a heart attack.” The tweet had received close to 2.5 Lakh views before it was deleted. (Archive)

The video also went viral on YouTube. Channels like YUVA SAMNA NEWS and ‘Ravi Kumar Rathore’ also amplified the claim.

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Fact Check

A closer look at the viral video reveals that the date. April 10, 2019, and place, Kasganj, Uttar Pradesh, are written on the top left corner of the frame.

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Taking a cue from this, we ran a keyword search on Google which led us to a 2019 YouTube video, titled ‘Shri Amit Shah addresses public meeting in Kasganj, Uttar Pradesh: 10.04.2019’, posted by BJP on its official YouTube page. At the 19:27 mark, Shah states how BJP has freed Uttar Pradesh from the rule of NIZAM. The one-minute viral clip has been taken from here.

According to a 2019 report by The Times Of India, Amit Shah made the statement while campaigning in Patiyali of Kasganj district ahead of the general elections in 2019. The report stated, “In a scathing attack on SP-BSP alliance, Amit Shah in his public address on Wednesday said, that BJP has freed Uttar Pradesh from NIZAM- an acronym for Nasimuddin Siddiqui, Imran Masood, Azam Khan, Atique Ahmed and Mukhtar Ansari, the leaders of SP and BSP party. During his visit in Patiyali of Kasganj district and Firozabad district to garner support for party candidates Rajveer Singh (Etah constituency) and Chandra Sen Jadaun (Firozabad constituency), Shah said, ‘Among all the works, getting rid of NIZAM was the biggest job which BJP government has done since its inception in the state.”

To sum up, it is clear that the viral clip is from 2019 and hence the remark by Union home minister Amit Shah cannot be seen in the context of the death of Mukhtar Ansari in March 2024. To amplify the comment as an evidence of the BJP’s role in the gangster-turned-politician’s death is, therefore, incorrect.

Abira Das is an intern at Alt News.

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