An Associated Press(AP) footage of an event, headed by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, being interrupted due to a shooting, is viral on social media with the claim that the video shows Gandhi's personal guards from the Special Protection Group (SPG) accidentally mistaking a beggar for a threat, and shooting him.
BOOM found this claim to be false; we traced the footage in AP's video archive, which stated that the shooting heard in the video was by a lone gunman who tried to assassinate Gandhi. According to news reports, he was captured alive by the SPG.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Neeraj Jain shared the video with the Hindi caption,"राजीव गांधी PM थे। राजघाट पर प्रार्थना के लिए गए थे तभी झाड़ियों में कुछ हलचल हुई एक व्यक्ति SPG को नजर आया तुरंत Spg ने गोली चला दी ! बाद में पता चला कि वह व्यक्ति एक भिखारी था ! आज यही कांग्रेसी कह रहे हैं क्या @narendramodi पर किसी ने पत्थर फेंके क्या किसी ने गोली चलाई"
English translation: "Rajiv Gandhi was the PM. He went to the Rajghat for prayer, SPG saw someone and immediately open fired! Later it was found that the man was a beggar. Today this is what Congressmen are saying, did anyone throw stones at @narendramodi, did anyone fire."
Click here to view an archive of the tweet.
We did a Twitter search with some keywords from the Hindi caption to find multiple posts containing the same AP video, along with the viral narrative.
The same was viral on Facebook as well.
These posts are viral in the backdrop of the recent 'security breach' of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after his convoy was blocked by protesters at a flyover in Punjab, during one of his visits to the state.
BOOM looked for the footage in AP's archive by searching with keywords "Associated Press rajiv gandhi shooting".
The first result we got was the viral footage uploaded by AP's very own YouTube channel.
According to the caption of the video, the footage was shot on October 2, 1986, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, with Rajiv Gandhi leading a prayer session. "Gandhi, was shot at by a Sikh hiding in a gazebo," the caption read.
We searched for news reports on this incident, and came across an article by Los Angeles Times on the event. The article read, "a man hiding atop a vine-covered gazebo fired a homemade pistol at him and President Zail Singh."
The article mentioned that the identity of the attacker was unknown, and that he was a lone gunman without any affiliation to extremist groups.
The same was also reported by the Washington Post, which said that the gunman "initially had identified himself as Manmohan Desai, but then changed his name several times".
Claim : Video shows the SPG guards of Rajiv Gandhi accidentally shoot a beggar to protect him.
Claimed By : Neeraj Jain, Twitter, Facebook
Fact Check : False