A photo of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi hugging a member of the Kerala Students Union (KSU) at the Bharat Jodo Yatra, is being shared with the false claim that he met with Amulya Leona Noronha, a student from Bengaluru who was arrested for shouting 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogans in February 2020.
BOOM identified the woman as Miva Jolly, General Secretary of the KSU for the Ernakulam district who dismissed the viral claim and confirmed that she is the girl in the viral photo with Gandhi taken during the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Ernakulam, Kerala.
Amulya Noronha, a journalism student studying in Bengaluru, was arrested on February 20, 2020, when she had stood on a stage and chanted 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogan during a rally against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA) by All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM). This alarmed everyone present there including AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi. Noronha was later arrested for the same.
In its 17th day of the 150-day long Bharat Jodo Yatra, Rahul Gandhi and other prominent Congress leaders are walking through the state of Kerala. The foot march, which began in Kanyakumari, is supposed to reach Karnataka on September 30 and will traverse several states before it reaches Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, the end point of the yatra.
The viral post includes a comparison with a photo of a girl with Gandhi on the left and the viral video of Noronha chanting 'Pakistan Zindabad' on the right claiming that both are the same people.
The viral photo was tweeted by Kreately with the caption when translated reads, "Rahul Gandhi is travelling to connect them.? Girl who raised 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogan was seen hugging Rahul during Congress visit."
BOOM has previously debunked several communally inciteful disinformation shared by Kreately.
(In Hindi - इनको जोड़ने की यात्रा कर रहे हैं राहुल गांधी.? 'पाकिस्तान जिंदाबाद' नारा लगाने वाली लड़की कांग्रेस की यात्रा में राहुल के गले लगते दिखी..#Video)
The same was also tweeted by the Twitter account Surabhi Gupta (@Surabhi_Journo) with the caption which translate to, "Rahul Gandhi was seen hugging the girl who raised 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogans from Owaisi's dais during his India Jodo Yatra. What is the matter??? #BharatJodaYatra #RahulGandhi"
(In Hindi - ओवैसी के मंच से 'पाकिस्तान ज़िंदाबाद' के नारे लगाने वाली लड़की को, राहुल गाँधी अपनी भारत जोड़ो यात्रा मे गले लगाते हुए दिखे. ये क्या मामला है ??? #BharatJodaYatra #RahulGandhi)
The same photo was also tweeted by BJP leader Priti Gandhi with the caption, "Look carefully. Not Bharat Jodo, this is Bharat Todo!! " which she later deleted.
BOOM found that the person in the viral photo hugging Rahul Gandhi is Miva Jolly, member of the Kerala Students Union and holds the post of General Secretary for the Ernakulam District, and not Amulya Leona Noronha as being claimed.
KSU is the student wing of the Indian National Congress in the state.
Jolly posted the original photo on her Instagram handle - (@Amulya Leona Noronha) on September 21, 2022, with the caption, "H A P P I E S T ‼️M O M E N T ‼️ I N MA L I F E ‼️.... Ma own Raga"
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She also posted a video of her meeting Gandhi during the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Kerala.
That is me in the viral photo: Miva Jolly, Ernakulam District General Secretary of Kerala Students Union
BOOM then contacted Jolly who rubbished the claim confirming that she is the woman in the viral photo with Gandhi.
"That is me in the photo with Rahul ji. The photo was clicked at the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Ernakulam District, Kerala." Jolly further told BOOM that she is the General Secretary for Ernakulam district wing with the KSU.
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