A 1:58 minutes long footage of news agency Associated Press related to former PM Rajiv Gandhi is going viral on social media. The viral footage is of Rajiv Gandhi's visit to Rajghat in 1986. It is being claimed that during Rajiv Gandhi visit to Rajghat, the SPG (Special Protection Group) guarding him had gunned down a person after seeing the movement behind a bush, due to which one person died. Later it was found that the person who died was a beggar. This came after the recent security breach of PM Modi visit to Punjab.
Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) national vice president Neeraj Jain shared this video with a Hindi caption that reads, "राजीव गांधी PM थे| राजघाट पर प्रार्थना के लिए गए थे तभी झाड़ियों में कुछ हलचल हुई एक व्यक्ति SPG को नजर आया तुरंत Spg ने गोली चला दी ! बाद में पता चला कि वह व्यक्ति एक भिखारी था ! आज यही कांग्रेसी कह रहे हैं क्या @narendramodi पर किसी ने पत्थर फेंके क्या किसी ने गोली चलाई."
[English Translation: "Rajiv Gandhi was the PM. He went to the Rajghat for prayer; SPG saw someone and immediately opened fire! Later it was found that the man was a beggar. Today this is what Congressmen are saying, did anyone throw stones at @narendramodi, did anyone fire?]
The viral video shows the SPG guards of former PM Rajiv Gandhi shooting a beggar in order to protect the PM.
The Logical Indian Fact Check verified the claim and found it to be false. The viral claim is fabricated. The viral video is from the time of the deadly attack on Rajiv Gandhi on October 02, 1986.
We noticed the AP logo in the viral video. Taking this clue, we started searching this video on YouTube in AP archives with relevant keywords like 'Rajiv Gandhi', 'Rajghat', 'Firing'. We found the original video uploaded on the YouTube channel of AP Archives dated October 04 2018. The video's title reads, "Rajiv Gandhi Is Shot At During Anniversary Celebration For The Late Mahatma Gandhi." The description of the video reads, "DELHI. ATTEMPTED ASSASSINATION: Indian PM, Rajiv Gandhi, while attending the anniversary celebration for the late Mahatma Gandhi, was shot at by a Sikh hiding in a gazebo. The man was captured and Gandhi unharmed."
We also came across some news reports related to this matter. We found an article published by TV9 Bharatvarsh dated October 02 2021, related to this incident. The title of the article reads in Hindi, 35 साल पहले राजघाट पर आज ही के दिन राष्ट्रपति, गृहमंत्री के सामने प्रधानमंत्री के ऊपर चली थीं गोलियां." [English Translation: 35 years ago at Rajghat, on this day, in front of the President, Home Minister, bullets were fired at the Prime Minister.]
According to the report, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, two bullets were fired at then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi at Rajghat when he came there to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. However, the man was caught, and Rajiv Gandhi was not hurt. Giani Zail Singh, who was the President of the country at that time, and Union Home Minister Sardar Buta Singh were also present.
According to a report in The New York Times dated October 1986, the accused was identified as Karamjeet Singh. 6 people were injured in this incident. The accused person was taken into custody and later sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment on the charge of 'attempt to murder'. He had no links to any extremist organization.
We also found an interview of Karamjeet Singh on a Youtube channel named Living India News dated June 2016. In the interview, Karamjeet can be seen telling how he planned to assassinate former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Below you can see the video.
Our investigation shows that the viral story shared with the video is fabricated. In fact, in 1986, the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was actually attacked by a man in Rajghat, and he was later arrested, and Rajiv Gandhi remained unhurt in this attack. Hence, the viral claim is false.
Alt News has also verified the same claim.
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