A video apparently showing visuals of a raid by the Enforcement Directorate at the house of Surat-based BJP leader Shikhar Agarwal is viral on social media. Last month, a user named Naveen Mishra (@NaveenM96466923), who identifies himself as a journalist and Congress functionary, shared the video with the following caption in Hindi: “Raid at the house of Shikhar Agarwal, an honest leader of the country’s most honest party Bharatiya Janata Party in Surat, Gujarat. Seeing the amount, you will be able to assess their honesty and their preparation for the elections.”

User Prem Anand (@PremAna42891378) shared the video on June 13 with the same caption. He was retweeted close to 2,000 times.

Same Video Viral in the Past

The same video was shared widely on Twitter in 2022. Then, the name of the person whose house was apparently targeted was mentioned as Shekhar Agarwal, an Aam Aadmi Party worker. (Archive)

Below, we have added more tweets with similar claims. (Archives- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

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The video was also viral in September. Then, users had claimed that Agarwal had been a Congress worker in the past, and was currently associated with the Aam Aadmi Party. (Archive)

The video has also been shared several times on Facebook.

The said video has also been shared several times on YouTube as well with the same claim.

The video was also shared with the claim that the money was seized during a raid by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) at a Popular Front of India (PFI) office in Kerala. The claim came after NIA conducted raids at multiple locations linked to the PFI on September 27.

It was shared widely on Facebook as well.

Fact Check

Upon a reverse image search using one of the key-frames of the viral video, we were led to a September 10 tweet by @kumarsubodh_. The user had tweeted the viral video with the caption, “#ED raids underway at a businessman’s premises in connection with a money laundering case. Over 50 crores cash recovered and being counted by ED officials during the searches in Kolkata related to mobile gaming app fraud case. Counting is still on”.

Taking a cue from this, we performed a keyword search on Google. The viral video had been aired during India Today’s coverage of the aforementioned ED raid in Kolkata. According to the report, a team of ED officials raided the premises of businessman Aamir Khan while probing an alleged case of fraud through a mobile gaming app, ‘E-Nuggets’. Cash worth Rs 17 crore and property documents were seized. Cash counting machines were brought in during the raid. (The viral part of the clip can be seen from 0:07 of the video below.)

Business Today also aired the viral clip during its coverage of the ED raids at the Kolkata residences of the promoters of the mobile gaming app. The video can be seen at 0:28 of the video below.

The viral video was aired by CNN News 18 and NDTV in their respective reportage as well.

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We also found a tweet by the official Twitter account of the Enforcement Directorate, announcing a raid carried out by them at six locations in Kolkata ‘in respect to an investigation relating to the Mobile Gaming Application’.

Additionally, no credible reports of any raid by ED officials at the residence of an AAP worker were found. Moreover, we spoke to Manoj Sorathiya, the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Gujarat state secretary, who denied the viral claims. He also said that AAP had no worker named Shekhar Agarwal.

To sum up, video footage of an ED raid in Kolkata has been falsely shared multiple times as a raid in Surat. ‘Shekhar/Shikhar Agarwal’, mentioned in the false claims, has been described sometimes as a BJP leader, sometimes as an AAP functionary, sometimes as a Congress worker-turned AAP leader.

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About the Author

Student of Economics at Presidency University. Interested in misinformation.