Fact Check: From Secret Tunnel Under Sasikala’s House To ABP News Running Istanbul Hailstones Video As Cyclone Ockhi

The Logical Indian Crew

December 6th, 2017

Image Credit: Boom, The News Minute

In the age of fake news, it has become very difficult to believe the overload of (mis)information that we receive from social media portals like that of WhatsApp and Facebook and as a result of which we fall prey to them.

The Logical Indian brings to you some of the fake news which was propagated as truth in the last two days.

No treasure in ‘secret tunnel’ under Sasikala’s house

A number of photos along with a caption “Tunnel found under Sasikala’s house in TN. Loads of black money and gold unearthed ” was available on social media and many WhatsApp groups. It talks about a significant amount of cash and gold that was recovered from the properties of jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala.

However, this news has turned out to be FAKE. The Quint busted it. 

The photos are from the news of a robbery in Navi Mumbai, that was covered by The Indian Express and Hindustan Times and also from Income Tax raids that took place in Delhi, which was covered by The Times of India and India Today.

The income tax raids were carried out on the Delhi residence of National Stock Exchange (NSE) broker Sanjay Gupta, during the ongoing searches related to OPG Group in the co-location case. Currency notes and gold was unearthed in the raids which were shared as Saskala’s ‘secret treasure’.

The tunnel was however from the robbery in Navi Mumbai where more than 30 lockers of a bank were robbed by men who entered the room by digging a tunnel from a rented shop in the same building.

Cyclone Ockhi brings hail and tornado…apparently

India today carried a video with the ‘exclusive’ tag saying that the footage was about the situation of Lakshadeep due to Cyclone Ockhi. The video also did rounds on Whatsapp and Facebook. It was later found that the video was from Sri Lanka and was uploaded on Feb 4, 2016.

Not just India Today, ANI, Zee News, ABP News ran another footage of an Istanbul hailstorm and claimed it to be on Mumbai-Pune Expressway.

The video itself has enough giveaways. The number plate of the car started with ‘34’ and the driver was seen on the left side of the car. This was not enough for a wire like ANI and news channels like Zee News and ABP to get the idea that the ‘golf ball’ size hails were not from India. 

ANI and ABP news later retracted the video.  

The 101 of journalism is informing the public about facts. But in a time, where there is more fake news, news channels should be responsible enough to verify the information they are feeding the public.

Creating or sharing fake news is never justified. We have a responsibility to verify everything that we post on the internet. To ensure that our national debate is healthy and well-informed, each and every one of us has a responsibility of treating what we read with a pinch of salt, a spoonful of doubt, and a flood of research.

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