No, NSA Ajit Doval Didn’t Write a Letter Lauding Kumbh Efforts
A huge portion of the text in the viral letter had been lifted from another official one signed by Doval.
A viral letter purportedly written by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval lauding Uttarakhand Chief Secretary Om Prakash’s efforts during the Kumbh Mela held in Haridwar is doing the rounds on social media.
However, we compared the viral letter with an official one and noticed that a huge portion of the text had been lifted from the latter. We also noticed few grammatical and spelling errors. Further, government officials have also called the letter “fake”.
Senior Advocate Prashant Bhushan tweeted the letter claiming that Ajit Doval complimented the chief secretary of Uttarakhand for “ogranizing the Kumbh Mela & unashamedly asking him to promote the RSS ideology!! (sic)”
Later, he took down his tweet.
The viral letter states that Doval appreciated state chief secretary’s role in maintaining synergy with several government agencies, ensuring coordination with police and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for “maintaining piece and implementing COVID-19 protocols”.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We ran a keyword search with the text mentioned in the viral letter and came across an article by The Economic Times that had published a PTI report in December 2019.
NSA Ajit Doval had then appreciated the efforts of the Uttar Pradesh government in maintaining peace and communal harmony after the verdict pronounced in the Ayodhya case.
The article mentioned that the letter was addressed to UP Chief Secretary Rajendra Kumar Tiwari and mentioned, “I compliment you for your commendable efforts in handling the situation in Uttar Pradesh following the Ayodhya verdict. I appreciate your pivotal role in maintaining synergy with all the organs of the state and central government and ensuring coordination with the police for maintaining peace and communal harmony.”
Even the viral letter mentions almost the same text with some tweaks.
TEXT OF VIRAL LETTER LIFTED FROM AN OLD ONE
On comparing the viral letter with the 2019 one, we found that a huge chunk of the text had been lifted from the latter and used in the viral one.
The viral letter made changes, such as Ayodhya verdict was replaced by Kumbh Mela. A line mentioning RSS context was added in the viral one.
Earlier in May 2020, another letter was viral, with the claim that the National Security Advisor wrote a letter congratulating Commissioner Secretary, Ladakh for handling of the border situation. The letter carried a similar text as the viral one on Kumbh Mela and was then called out by PIB’s fact-checking arm.
VARIOUS GRAMMATICAL AND SPELLING ERRORS
We also noticed several grammatical errors in the viral letter. For instance, the entire line that reads “I also appreciating that you use your...” is grammatically incorrect.
Also, “resulted peaceful conduct” should have been “resulted in peaceful conduct”. Further, the word ‘ideology’ was misspelt as “idelogoy.”
VIRAL LETTER IS ‘FAKE’, SAY OFFICIALS
News agency ANI reported that the government officials have called the viral letter claiming to have been written by Ajit Doval as “fake”. However no officials were named by the news agency.
Evidently, a fake letter was circulated on social media claiming that National Security Advisor Ajit Doval wrote a letter to Uttarakhand chief secretary lauding his efforts on handling the Kumbh Mela.
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