A 45-second video of a girl, who identifies herself as a student of National Medical University and asks the Indian government to rescue her from Ukraine, is being massively shared on social media with a claim that she faked her location and made a video from Hardoi, Uttar Pradesh defaming the government's rescue operation in Ukraine.
The claim comes in the backdrop of several such videos that have been doing the rounds on the internet, where Indian nationals and students have been asking the government to evacuate them from the war-torn country.
Among those who shared this video were several Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders who, identified her as Vaishali Yadav, Gram Pradhan of Hardoi, and said that she made a fake video at the behest of her father, who is a member of the Samajwadi Party (SP).
While it is true that Yadav's father is a member of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and she is a Gram Pradhan, she didn't fake her location and make a video.
We got in touch with Yadav, who shared her live location with us, which showed her to be in Romania, bordering Ukraine. She reached Romania from Ukraine on 28 February.
BJP Andhra Pradesh's State Secretary Rameshnaidu Nagothu shared the video and wrote, "One of the students posing as Ukraine Vaishali student turned out to be daughter of Samajwadi Party leader from Hardoi Mahendra Yadav and was not even in Ukraine."
He further added that the police has arrested her for making the fake video.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
Speaking to The Quint, Hardoi Superintendent of Police (SP), Rajesh Dwivedi, said that the news circulating related to Yadav is incorrect and that she is not in India.
We also found a tweet by a journalist, where Dwivedi clarified that Yadav hasn't been arrested and she had made the video while she was in Ukraine.
Next, we got in touch with Vaishali Yadav who told us that she is currently in Romania and said that she had made the earlier video while she was in Ukraine.
"I had made the video while I was in Ukraine. Now I am in Romania and I am safe. It's absolutely wrong that I have made this video to defame the government."Vaishali Yadav
Yadav shared another video with us, in which she had clarified about the viral video.
We then asked her to share her live location with us, which showed her in Romania.
Finally, we got in touch with her father Mahendra Yadav, who confirmed that Vaishali is the Gram Pradhan and that she was stuck in Ukraine when she made the video.
"Vaishali had contested the elections when she had come back home during the pandemic. It's true that she is the Gram Pradhan but she is currently not in India. She made the video asking the government to help them."Mahendra Yadav
Clearly, Yadav's video appeal asking the government to evacuate them is being falsely shared to claim that she faked her location and made a video from Uttar Pradesh at the behest of her father.