Fictitious MLA Anil Upadhyay Revived Over Gandhi Effigy Shooting
The video is actually of a Hindu Mahasabha leader who, in January 2019, had recreated Gandhi’s assassination.
A video doing the rounds on social media shows a woman shooting at an effigy of Mahatma Gandhi and claims that BJP MLA Anil Upadhyay is responsible for this action.
The woman can be seen aiming at the effigy when, before pulling the trigger, she is stopped by the person behind the camera, who can be heard saying, "Chalana nahi. Abhi toh photo session ho raha hai (Don't shoot yet. Right now, we’re having a photo session).
In the video, slogans such as as ‘Mahatma Nathuram Godse amar rahe amar rahe,’ (Long live Mahatma Nathuram Godse) can be heard.
Several social media users shared the video on Facebook and Twitter with the same claim.
TRUE OR FALSE?
The video is being circulated with a false claim. Firstly, it’s an old video wherein Hindu Mahasabha leader Puja Shakun Pandey had recreated Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination on his death anniversary on 30 January 2019.
Secondly, there is no BJP MLA by the name of Anil Upadhyay, and this has been established on multiple occasions in the past.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We conducted a reverse search on one of the frames of the video and found an article published by Firstpost on 30 January 2019 with the headline: “Hindu Mahasabha leader 'recreates' Mahatma Gandhi's assassination in Uttar Pradesh, garlands Nathuram Godse's statue”
The woman seen in the video is Hindu Mahasabha General Secretary Puja Shakun Pandey, who, along with her husband, Ashok Pandey, was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police on 6 February 2019, for recreating Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, according to an ANI report at the time.
Pandey had shot at an effigy of Gandhi on his death anniversary, 30 January, and garlanded a statue of Nathuram Godse, his assassin. The incident had taken place in Aligarh, following which Pandey distributed sweets among her supporters.
Justifying her act, Puja Shakun Pandey had reportedly said that books on Mahatma’s assassin Nathuram Godse should be included in school curriculum so that students could learn the ‘real facts’.
WHO IS BJP MLA ANIL UPADHYAY?
It has been earlier established that there is no MLA named Anil Upadhyay belonging to the BJP. The Quint has debunked several false claims in the past that have been attributed to Upadhyay be it those claiming that he is a BJP MLA or a Congress MLA.
When we checked the MyNeta website, no MLA named Anil Upadhyay was found who had connections with the Congress or BJP. The search threw up only three Anil Upadhyays, two of whom are independent legislators, and the third is associated with the BSP.
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