Here’s a Round-Up Of All the Fake News Around the Pulwama Attack

At least 10 fake viral stories have been busted by The Quint’s WebQoof team. Let’s take a look at a few of them.  

3 min read

From old videos resurfacing as retaliation measures to doctored photos, in just three days after the Pulwama attack, at least 10 fake viral stories have been busted by The Quint's WebQoof team. Let's have a look at a few of them.

Spare the Politicians

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi have all been targeted with fake images and videos after the Pulwama Attack.

A video of Priyanka Gandhi was shared over 800 times, in which she is shown 'smiling' at a press meet after the Pulwama attack. We sourced the original video, which revealed that she did NOT smile at the press meet. The video was clipped and treated to make it appear so.


Soon after this, a set of photos in which Rahul Gandhi is seen meeting with the suicide bomber Adil Ahmad Dhar, went viral on Facebook. Fake News! Team WebQoof went about debunking each of these photos. One of the photos was from Rahul Gandhi's visit to Barabanki in UP in 2014, another was from an Iftar party in 2015.

And Ahmad Dhar’s face, which was obviously superimposed onto these photos, was taken from the video released by Jaish-e-Mohammed, which asserted its responsibility for the attack.

The Fake News Attack though wasn't limited to one political party. A photo in which Narendra Modi is seen posing for the cameras instead of paying tribute to the martyred jawans, went viral. The image, however, was taken out of context to further a false narrative. Here's the actual video, where at the 1hr 14min mark, the prime minister is seen paying tribute to the mortal remains of the martyred jawans.

Speaking of the ruling party, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy, on Twitter, claimed that the Pulwama attack occurred because of a 2014 incident in Budgam, after which security forces were supposedly told not to stop any vehicle at check points on the Srinagar highway. He also said that the jawans, who had shot at a car that had “smashed through three check points” were also jailed.

But that's not true. The top officer in charge at the time, Lt Gen (retd) DS Hooda told us that the claims of security personnel being court-martialed was, again, “fake news.” He confirmed there was neither a court martial nor were security personnel imprisoned in relation to the case. And neither was there any government order against "stopping vehicles at check points,” as claimed by Swamy.

Don’t Trust Your Eyes

CCTV footage of the explosion! A counter-strike where the terrorists have been captured! The photo of one of the Jawans who was martyred! All of these went viral on Twitter and Facebook hours after the attack, and were shared from multiple accounts.

All of these turned out to be fake.

The CCTV footage of the supposed Pulwama explosion, is actually the video of a car bomb that exploded in Syria on 12 February.

The supposed 45-second counter-strike video, where the terrorists were apprehended, is actually of a mock drill conducted in Maharashtra's Virar district in the D-Mart region. According to Mid-Day, this was part of a 30-minute drill that took place on 14 February.

Mizing Basumatary, who is a CRPF Jawan, shares the same surname as 40-year-old Maheshwar Basumatary, who was martyred in the Pulwama attack. Photos of Mizing, claiming that he was a victim of the attack went viral on social media.

Mizing himself resorted to Facebook to put an end to these claims.


Violence and Hate? That's the Bait!

Take this video, for example, which shows a waiter being beaten and manhandled at a restaurant. It went viral from multiple accounts on Facebook, claiming 'protesters' were beating up a 'Kashmiri' waiter in Chandigarh.

FAKE! In fact, the video is from a restaurant in Janakpuri, Delhi. The waiter is NOT Kashmiri, and the clip was shared by India Today on 12 February, two days BEFORE the Pulwama attack.

Doctored images and fake facts can adversely affect people’s perspective, which could trigger dangerous reactions like what we have seen with the child-lifting rumours being spread on WhatsApp that resulted in the death of many people.

So, the next time you come across any unverified information on WhatsApp or Twitter or Facebook, DON'T forward it before you can verify it. If you don't know how, just send it to us, and we'll do what's necessary, to make sure YOU are not a WebQoof.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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