An image showing Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah with Indian Administrative Service officer Pooja Singhal is being shared with the claim that the image shows the two meeting just days before Singhal was raided by the Enforcement Directorate.
BOOM found this claim to be false; the image was taken in 2017 during an event in Ranchi called the 'Garib Kalyan Mela'. Last Friday, properties linked to Singhal were raided by the Enforcement Directorate for a five-year-old case of embezzlement of MNREGA funds, recovering nearly Rs. 20 crores in cash. The viral image of her with Shah, however, is old and unrelated to the ED raids.
We found the image being shared on Facebook with the caption, "A photo of IAS Pooja Singhal just a few days before crores of cash was found at home."
(Original Hindi caption: घर से करोड़ों का कैश पकड़ाने से थोड़े दिनों पहले आइएएस पूजा सिंघल की एक तस्वीर।)
We also found the same image going viral with the same claim with English captions.
Filmmaker Avinash Das also shared the same claim with the viral photo on Twitter.
Click here to view an archive of the above tweet.
Looking through the replies to the tweets, we found several users stating that the photo being shared is from a 2017 event called Garib Kalyan Mela that happened in Ranchi, and is not recent.
Some users were also sharing links to a Getty Images photo of the same event, which showed Shah and Singhal on stage wearing the exact same clothes.
Taking cue from this, we started looking for images on Getty Images using relevant keywords like "amit shah getty images garib kalyan mela" and was directed to the original image on Getty Images' website. The image clearly showed Shah and Singhal with the same clothes, and in the same setting as the image going viral.
According to the captions, the image was indeed taken on September 16, 2017, and is unrelated to the recent investigation against Singhal.
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