Several handles linked to the Congress party and its members shared an image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which purportedly shows him clicking a photo using a DSLR camera, with the lens cover on. The posts sharing the image took a jibe at Modi, claiming that he is seen taking a picture of the recently imported Namibian cheetahs with the lens cover on.
BOOM found that the image shared in these posts is morphed; the original photo is a mirror image of the viral photo shared on social media, and it shows Modi clicking a picture without the lens cover. The lens cover has been digitally added to the image.
India recently brought in eight cheetahs, an animal that went extinct in the country, from Namibia, to populate Madhya Pradesh's Kuno Palpur National Park on Saturday. Following their arrival, Modi was seen clicking images of the spotted cats, and the doctored image is viral in this backdrop.
Prominent accounts to share the doctored image include the official Twitter account of Maharasthra Congress Sevadal, Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee President Virendra Chaudhary, along with Congress members Aman Dubey and Ishita Sedha, among others.
We zoomed in on the viral photo of Modi holding the camera, and found many discrepancies upon inspecting it up-close.
We observed the following discrepancies:
1. The brand of the DSLR camera was of Nikon, while the lens cover read Canon.
2. The text reading Nikon was reversed, while 'Canon' appeared normally. This suggested that the image of Modi holding the camera has been reversed, to create a mirror image, after which the lens cover reading 'Canon' was added.
3. The text saying 'Nikon' in reverse is much more pixelated, as compared to the text saying 'Canon'. This further confirms that the lens cover with the text saying 'Canon' has been added digitally, and is not part of the original photo.
Taking cue from the above, we performed a keyword search with "Modi taking picture of cheetas", and came across news articles and posts that contained the original image.
BJP Gujarat's official Twitter handle had published the original image on Saturday, where the camera held by Modi did not have the lens covered.
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