“An enraged crowd attacked Zee News officer for terming the people of Delhi freeloaders and traitors. Heard this, is it true?” wrote one Sunik Kumar on Facebook, drawing close to 900 shares to a post where he shared a photograph of Zee News anchor Sudhir Chaudhary with a nose injury and another image showing a shattered workspace.[Translated from: दिल्ली के लोगों को मुफ्तखोर और गद्दार कहने पर भड़की जनता ने ज़ी न्यूज़ के ऑफिस पर किया हमला। #ये सुना है सही है क्या?#]
The message is viral after Chaudhary, a vocal supporter of prime minister Narendra Modi, lashed out at Delhi voters after exit polls predicted a clear majority for the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
The post has been shared by many on Facebook.
The first photograph of Sudhir Chaudhary with a nose injury was found in an article by garjachhattisgarhnews.com from July 13, 2019. According to the website, Chaudhary had met with an accident in Mumbai. The Zee News anchor had uploaded a Facebook Live two days earlier where he said that he was unable to report for the channel due to his injury. “Two days earlier, I had gone to Mumbai and met with an accident. I have a hairline fracture on my nose and doctors have advised me to take rest,” he said.
Posted by Sudhir Chaudhary on Thursday, 11 July 2019
He can be seen with the same injury in several other Live videos as well.
A reverse-image search of the second photograph took us to a report by mumbailive.com. It was published two years ago and spoke about MNS workers ransacking Mumbai Congress office and the arrest of party leader Sandeep Deshpande. The image (same as the one currently viral) was credited to ANI. A Twitter search redirected us to a December 1, 2017 tweet by the news agency where the image was used. “Mumbai: Unidentified persons vandalized Mumbai Congress office at CST, more details awaited,” read the tweet.
— ANI (@ANI) December 1, 2017
A subsequent tweet by ANI reported, “MNS leader Sandeep Deshpande & seven other party workers sent to judicial custody till 18 December for vandalising the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee office near Azad Maidan.” The group was later granted bail.
#Mumbai: MNS leader Sandeep Deshpande & seven other party workers sent to judicial custody till 18 December for vandalising the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee office near Azad Maidan
— ANI (@ANI) December 4, 2017
Old, unrelated images were therefore shared to propagate the false claim that Zee News office was ransacked and Sudhir Chaudhary was injured for name-calling Delhiites. Moreover, no such incident has been recently reported. Members of Shiv Sena had allegedly attacked the office in 2006.
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people start contributing towards the same. Please consider donating towards this endeavour to fight fake news and misinformation.