A photograph of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Prabhakar Bhat with a member of the organisation is widely circulating across social media platforms. It is being claimed that the member is Aditya Rao, the man who reportedly surrendered before the police for planting a bag of explosives at Mangalore International Airport. Shahid Naseer, state executive council member of Popular Front of India (PFI), Karnataka, posted the image and wrote, “#Mangaluru airport me bomb Rakhne wala dehshat gard aditya RSS ke National leader prabhakar bhat ke sath.” His post drew 2,000 shares on Facebook. Naseer had also made the same claim on Twitter.

Twitter handle ‘Just a common man @EmpoweringGoa’ and a Facebook page ‘Secular Hyderabadi’ posted the same picture.


The man photographed with RSS leader Prabhakar Bhat is not Aditya Rao but RSS member Sandeep Lobo. Below is a picture of him with BJP MP Tejasvi Surya which Lobo had uploaded on Facebook two months ago.

Posted by Sandeep Lobo on Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Lobo’s Facebook profile has several photographs of him (extreme right in the image below) in RSS uniform.

Posted by Sandeep Lobo on Tuesday, 14 January 2020

He has also put out a post debunking the misinformation.

ಆತ್ಮೀಯ ಬಂಧುಗಳೇ,

ಮಂಗಳೂರು ಬಾಂಬ್ ಪ್ರಕರಣಕ್ಕೆ ಸಂಬಂಧಿಸಿದಂತೆ ನನ್ನನ್ನು ಆರೋಪಿ ಎಂಬಂತೆ ತೋರಿಸಿ ಫೋಟೋಗಳನ್ನು ಅಥವಾ ಸಂದೇಶಗಳನ್ನು ವಿನಿಮಯ…

Posted by Sandeep Lobo on Wednesday, 22 January 2020

BJP Dakshin Karnataka has uploaded a picture of Lobo filing a complaint with the police against false social media posts claiming that he is Mangaluru airport bomb suspect Aditya Rao.

ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕ ಜಾಲತಾಣಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಮಂಗಳೂರು ವಿಮಾನ ನಿಲ್ದಾಣದಲ್ಲಿ ಬಾಂಬ್ ಇಟ್ಟ ಆರೋಪಿ ಎಂದು ಪುತ್ತೂರಿನ ಬಿಜೆಪಿಯ ಕಾರ್ಯಕರ್ತ ಸಂದೀಪ್ ಲೋಬೊ ಇರುವ…

Posted by BJP Dakshina Kannada on Wednesday, 22 January 2020

A comparison of the facial features of Lobo and Rao makes it evident that they are not the same person. Speaking with Boomlive, Lobo said that he is an active RSS worker and a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He works with the party’s IT cell in the Dakshina Kannada wing.

A photograph of RSS member Sandeep Lobo is thus being misused to propagate the false claim that he is Aditya Rao, the man who reportedly surrendered before the police for planting a bag of explosives at Mangaluru international airport.

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About the Author

Pooja Chaudhuri is a senior editor at Alt News.