A screenshot of a tweet, purportedly by news channel Republic TV, claims to show that journalist Rana Ayyub made a statement "defending minor child rapists".
The statement in the said tweet reads, "Minor child rapists are also human, do they have no human rights. This Hindutva Government is bringing ordinance for death to child rapists just to hang Muslims in large numbers. Muslims aren't safe in India anymore."
However, we found that that the tweet is not by the official handle of Republic TV but a fake account. Further, in 2019 Ayyub called the tweet 'photoshopped'.
Social media users have shared the image along with the claim, that reads, "Minor child rapists are also human???"
WHAT WE FOUND
We conducted a keyword search on Google and found a tweet by Rana Ayyub posted on 10 June 2019.
The caption of the tweet read, "This fake photo-shopped tweet that shows me advocating child rapists in the name of Islam is being circulated yet again all over social media. From the likes of Ashok Pandit to the entire right wing eco system is sharing this tweet. How sick are you guys!"
Next, we looked at the official Twitter profile of Republic TV and found that the while the username of Republic TV is '@republic', the one in the morphed image read, '@republicTv'.
Further, Republic TV's account is verified, but the account which posted the purported quote as Ayyub's statement is unverified. We also checked the archives on Wayback Machine and archived from January 2017, too, showed the verified sign. The account was started in December 2016.
Clearly, a fake image is being shared on social media with the false claim that Ayyub had defended child rapists.