On November 8, ANI cited the Mumbai police informing that actress Poonam Pandey’s husband Sam Bombay was arrested in Mumbai after she complained of assault. She was admitted to a hospital. Against this backdrop, two images, one of the couple and the other featuring an injured woman, are circulating online. It has been claimed that the injured woman is Pandey.

Several users shared the image on Twitter with the same claim. One user wrote, “This is Poonam Pandey, who often makes objectionable comments on Hindutva, Hindus, and Hindu gods and goddesses. She married Shamshad Ali aka Sam Bombay to scratch the secularism itch. And now he has beaten her so badly that she had to be admitted to the hospital with a broken jaw, a sprained neck, and bruises around her eye.”

Numerous Twitter handles including @VashistIshwar02, @DextrousNinja, @humlogindia, @MemesGormint, @mungeri89_lal, @iYogitasingh, @daniak_shay_45 shared the photos describing Poonam Pandey as a victim of “love jihad”. Alt News received a few requests to verify the photo on our WhatsApp helpline number.

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We performed a reverse image search of the picture featuring the injured woman using Yandex. This led us to a video from 2018 from which the still had been taken, confirming that it cannot be recent. The YouTube video was titled, “Poonam Pandey | arsha pandey hospital viral video”.

We performed another keyword search based on this information and came across a Dainik Jagran report dated September 15, 2018. The woman has been identified as Arshi Pandey. It states, “Arshi Pandey, the sole eyewitness in the Poonam murder case, was discharged on Thursday after spending 18 days at the hospital. Her relatives took her home.”

According to Dainik Jagran, “On the night of August 27, 2018, two unidentified men attacked transporter Lakshmi Dutt Pandey’s wife Poonam and his daughter with a sharp weapon in Gorapadao, located in Haldwani’s Mandi Chowki area. Though Poonam lost her life in the aftermath, her daughter spent several days in the hospital.” This was a different Poonam Pandey who lost her life in the attack. The image being shared is of her daughter.

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About the Author

Priyanka Jha specialises in monitoring and researching mis/disinformation at Alt News. She also manages the Alt News Hindi portal.