Fact Check: Attack On Journalist Akarshan Uppal Goes Viral With Misleading Claim

A false claim stating Akarshan Uppal, a journalist working with IBN24, was attacked by goons after he exposed Adani group's land deals has gone viral on social media. The Logical Indian Fact Check team investigates the claim.

India   |   19 Dec 2020 12:13 PM GMT
Editor : Bharat Nayak | Creatives : Rajath
Fact Check: Attack On Journalist Akarshan Uppal Goes Viral With Misleading Claim

On December 15, 2020, InFeed, which describes itself as a news platform, published a report titled "Outrage grows after journo attack who exposed Adani". The report said that Akarshan Uppal, a journalist working with IBN24, was attacked by goons after he exposed Adani group's secretive forays to acquire hundreds of acres of land before the passing of the new farm bills. The archive of the Infeed report can be seen here.


Many people shared the link of the InFeed story on their social media handle hinting that Adani Group is behind the attack on the journalist.

Dr Surjya Kanta Mishra, Secretary, West Bengal State Committee and Polit Bureau Member of Communist Party of India (Marxist), also shared the InFeed report on his Facebook page.

(As received and reported)

Akarshan Uppal who was exploring Adani group's interests in the new farm laws was thrashed...

Posted by Surjya Kanta Mishra on Friday, 18 December 2020

Many people shared an image of an injured man on social media with the claim of Akarshan Uppal attacked after reporting on Adani Group.

Photo of a journalist Akarshan Uppal from Karnal in Haryana who 2 days back exposed how Adani group is buying 100's of...

Posted by With RG on Thursday, 10 December 2020

The claim, "Akarshan Uppal attacked for exposing Adani's 100 acres land deal before the passing of Farm Bills", is viral on Facebook too.


The news is viral in the backdrop of ongoing farmers' protest in Delhi against the three controversial farm laws passed by the government of India in September 2020. Many are of the opinion that the farm laws have been passed to support big corporates like Adani group and Reliance Industries to enter into the agricultural sector. Farmers believe that a section of the new rules allow farmers to sell their products outside the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) markets; based on this rule, many corporates will initially start purchasing crops from farmers at a much higher rate than APMC, slowly destroying the APMCs and later making the farmers dependent on their mercy.

Claim:

IBN24 journalist Akarshan Uppal was attacked for exposing the purchase of 100 acres land by Adani Group.

Fact Check:

On doing a reverse image search of the viral image of the injured man, we found a video on YouTube channel of IBN24 that reported the deadly attack on journalist Akarshan Uppal and the visit of Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar to the hospital to see him. A keyframe of the video is the same as the viral image of Akarshan Uppal. Hence, the viral image is of Akarshan Uppal.


Most of the Tweets embedded in the report of InFeed about Akarshan Uppal's injury were also based on fake claims.

A Tweet by Twitter user Sushmita, showing a list of companies registered by the Adani group purportedly in 2019 just before the farm laws were passed, was embedded in the report of InFeed. The tweet showed one of the cases against Adani group purportedly exposed by Akarshan Uppal. The Logical Indian has earlier Fact-Checked the claim and found it to be false. The dates mentioned in the list were the dates when Amit Malik took over the Directorship of the organisations mentioned in the list and not the date when they were registered by the Adani groups. Most of these organisations were registered in or before 2018.


Another tweet embedded in the InFeed report showed Ahmedabad airport has been renamed as Adani airport from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport. The Logical Indian had debunked the claim earlier. Thus, the 'Adani airport' written on the board is not the name of the airport but a logo of the Adani enterprises, who have been handed over the Airport for its operation and management purposes.


The Logical Indian did a story on Akarshan Uppal's injury on December 17, 2020. According to the report, Akarshan Uppal was attacked and beaten for reporting a drug abuse case. Uppal had exposed the people involved in the drug case after receiving a call from an anonymous person. The report said that the police caught at least three people in Ramanagar, Shiv Colony of Karnal. The report said that the accused, Gurmeet Singh was arrested who later died in prison two weeks after the arrest. After Singh's death, Uppal and his family allegedly received threat calls from the elder brother of the accused, Ghelu, blaming the journalist for his brother's arrest.


We also called a reporter of a local media site of Karnal, Karnal Breaking News, who covered the story and he confirmed that Uppal was beaten by people associated with the drug case.

Akarshan Uppal had done a story on Adani group which was shared on Facebook page of IBN24 on December 6, 2020. A video was shared with the caption, "अडानी ग्रुप पर पूर्व सरपंच का बड़ा खुलासा : पानीपत में अडानी ग्रुप पर गेंहू स्टोरेज के लिए 100 एकड़ जमीन खरीदने का आरोप, गाँव वाले बोले कृषि कानून से पहले अडानी ग्रुप ने कैसे खरीद ली जमीन, रेलवे कारखाना लगाने के नाम पर ग्रामीणों पर जमीन बेचने का दबाव बनाया ? विधायक से लेकर सांसद ने किसी ने भी अपनी उपलब्धी इस प्रोजेक्ट को नहीं बताया तो उठे सवाल, कम्पनी के लोगो ने भी जानकारी देने से किया इनकार !" (Which translates in English as, "Former Sarpanch revealed a big thing about Adani group: Adani group accused of purchasing 100 acres of land in Panipat for wheat storage, villagers said how could Adani group purchase land before the farms laws, the villagers were forced to sell there lands for construction of railway factory? From MLA to MP no one took the responsibility of the project so questions were raised, the organisation also did not give any information on same.")

The incident of the journalist Akarshan Uppal being thrashed and injured was shared by IBN24 on Facebook on December 7, 2020.

दोस्तों कुछ लोगों ने हमारे पत्रकार आकर्षण उप्पल जी पर जानलेवा हमला कर दिया है, जिसमे उनको सर में गंभीर चोट आई है।

Posted by India Breaking News on Monday, 7 December 2020

The Logical Indian also spoke to Darpan Uppal, brother of Akarshan Uppal, who said, "My brother had covered a story on Adani group a day before he was thrashed but even before the coverage on Adani group he had been receiving threats from goons against whom he did a story. The investigation is still on but we suspect that those goons against whom my brother reported have beaten him."

While the entire report by InFeed does not say directly that the attack on Akarshan Uppal happened due to exposing Adani's land deal, but it is misleading and hints that attack on the journalist happened due to reporting on the alleged land deals of Adani group in Haryana.

If you have any news that you believe needs to be fact-checked, please email us at factcheck@thelogicalindian.com or WhatsApp at 6364000343.

Also Read: Fact Check: No, Indian Railways Is Not Owned By Adani Wilmar

Claim Review :  IBN24 journalist, Akarshan Uppal was beaten for exposing the purchase of 100 acres land by Adani Group.
Claimed By :  Social Media
Fact Check :  Misleading
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Contributors

Yusha Rahman

Yusha Rahman

Fact-Checker

Yusha, an engineer turned journalist with a core interest in sensible journalism. Since the time she worked in an MNC, she saw how fake news was rife to malign images of communities, leaders, etc. This encouraged her to give up her career in MNC and passionately work towards curbing fake news and propaganda.

Bharat Nayak

Bharat Nayak

Founding Editor - Special Project

As the founding editor, Bharat had been heading the newsroom during the formation years of the organization and worked towards editorial policies, conceptualizing and designing campaign strategies and collaborations. He believes that through the use of digital media, one could engage the millennial's in rational conversations about pertinent social issues, provoking them to think and bring a behavioral change accordingly.

Rajath

Rajath

Creative Producer

A free spirit who find meaning in life with the virtue of creativity and doing job par its excellence, animal lover and traveller by heart.

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