Morbi Bridge Collapse: Photo Of Guj Minister Viral As Oreva Group Owner
BOOM found that the viral photo shows Gujarat Minister Raghavji Patel posing with Narendra Modi
A photo of a Gujarat state minister Raghavji Patel with Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being shared with a false claim that it shows the owner of Oreva group, in charge of maintaining the suspension bridge in Morbi, Gujarat. The photo is also with false claims misidentifying the minister as Odhavji Raghavji Patel, the father of Jaysukh Patel the owner and founder of Oreva group.
The photo shared by several Congress handles, has gone viral after a suspension bridge over the Machchu river in Morbi collapsed leaving over 130 people dead, and several more injured.
The Gujarat police in a suo moto FIR has named, "the agency responsible for maintenance" of the bridge as accused. In a press conference, Inspector General, Rajkot, Ashok Yadav said that the police had arrested nine people including managers employed by Oreva group, ticket sellers and security personnel working at the Morbi suspension bridge.
Built in the British era, the suspension bridge, called the Julto Pul by locals was reopened to the public on October 26, 2022, seven months after it was shut for renovation. The accident occured on October 30, 2022, with reports suggesting there was over crowding on the bridge.
The viral photo which shows a man greeting Modi with folded hands and the prime minister placing his hands on the man's shoulder was shared by the official Twitter handles of Rajasthan and Odisha Youth Congress claiming it shows the person who bagged the contract to repair the Morbi suspension bridge.
The photo is being shared on Facebook with a caption in Hindi that claims the man is Odhavji Raghavji Patel and that he owns Oreva group.
A reverse image search on the viral photo showed results for Bharatiya Janata Party leader, Raghavji Patel, Minister for Agriculture and Animal Husbandry in Gujarat.
The results led us to the verified Facebook page of Raghavji where he had uploaded the same picture on September 4 and set it as the display photo for this page.
We then looked for photos of Odhavji Raghavji Patel, the man mentioned in the viral claim and found that he did not bear any similarities to the minister Raghavji and also that he passed away in 2012.
We found a photo of Odhavji Patel in a obituary about his death published by Mint on October 19, 2012. A comparison of Gujarat state minister Raghavji and Odhavji shows that both bear no facial similarities.
Picture of Odhavji Patel below -
We then looked for details on the Oreva group including its founder Jaysukh Patel. According to an article in the Indian Express, while Odhavji founder the company manufacturing Ajanta clocks, over the years his three sons - Pravin, Ashok and Jaysukh have split and formed their own ventures. Among these, is Oreva group formed by Jaysukh Patel who is the Managing Director and the face of the company.
Scanning through Oreva's website we found Jaysukh's photo published on a booklet of the company containing writeups by him. A comparison of the below photo with the viral photo shows no facial similarities between the owner of Oreva group and the minister in the picture.
A comparison of the photos of Minister Raghavj with pictures of Odhavji and Jaysukh show no similarities between them.
Below is the comparison between all three images:
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