Uttar Pradesh government has threatened legal action against a lawyer Shishira Rudrappa, who tweeted a photo of a billboard installed at the Bangalore airport, featuring an advertisement praising the state government. While another video by Rudrappa showed the advertisement being mysteriously pulled down, the Uttar Pradesh information department, Cyber security wing and the UP government's fact checking handle called the photo fake and denied that such an advertisement was put by the their government.
BOOM did not find any evidence to doubt the location of the photo. However, we cannot independently confirm if the advertisement was commissioned by the Uttar Pradesh government.
On Monday, July 12, Rudrappa tweeted a photo of the advertisement in Hindi which spoke about Uttar Pradesh ranking top in the country for providing four lakh government jobs to the youth. The billboard in Hindi, carried a photo of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a band at the bottom reading, "सूचना एवं जनसम्पर्क विभाग, उत्तर प्रदेश" - the Hindi name for the Information and Public Relations Department, UP
A few hours later, Rudrappa tweeted another photo saying he had landed in Delhi and spotted a similar hoarding outside the Delhi airport.
BOOM spoke to Rudrappa, who said he clicked the photo on Monday morning while on his way to board a flight to Delhi. "I saw the hoarding and tweeted the photo. I did not think much about it but by the time I landed in Delhi, I saw tweets questioning the same and calling it fake. Why are they even calling it fake?" said Rudrappa. He added that the photo shows a text band that states the advertisement was issued by the UP Information department.
UP GOVT CALLS PHOTO FAKE; DENIES ANY SUCH ADVERTISEMENT IN KARNATAKA
Soon, IAS officer Shishir Singh, Director Information and Public Relation, UP government tweeted asking Rudrappa to not spread fake news and said, "No such advertisement given anywhere in the State of Karnataka"
The Info Uttar Pradesh Fact Check, a UP government state run fact checking handle managed by the Information department also tweeted a graphic called Rudrappa's photo and claim fake.
The handle said the claim that the hoarding had been installed in Karnataka is untrue and fake. The cyber security wing of the UP government also jumped into action and said they would be initiating legal action against Rudrappa.
Rudrappa also tweeted a video, shot by one his employees, showing the hoarding and advertisement with a Bangalore airport towing vehicle visible in the same asking how was the claim false. Speaking to BOOM, Rudrappa said, "Given the tweets by the UP government handles denying the advertisement, I asked one of my employees to visit the area again on Monday evening and send me a video. I tweeted this video too and it clearly shows it is Bangalore airport and one of the airport vehicles can also be seen in the same."
Below is the video:
Rudrappa also sent us the photo he tweeted and we noticed that the band at the bottom read, "सूचना एवं जनसम्पर्क विभाग, उत्तर प्रदेश" - the Hindi name for the Information and Public Relations Department Uttar Pradesh.
ADVERTISEMENT MYSTERIOUSLY PULLED DOWN
In a third tweet, Rudrappa shared a video shot by his employee on Tuesday morning, July 13, 2021, which shows two people taking down the advertisement. "I sent my employee again on Tuesday morning to shoot a clearer video during the day and was surprised when he told me they were pulling down the hoarding. He sent me a video of the same," he said adding that his employee was prevented by the security guards from recording videos or clicking photos.
Rudrappa shared a longer 44-second version of the video with BOOM, in which two people can be clearly seen taking down the hoarding. At the 42 second mark in the video, a person wearing a reflective jacket approach the person shooting the video and ask in Kannada, "why are you taking a photo" and the person responding, "no no...my boss asked us to shoot".
Watch video below:
We also noticed that the billboard is managed by JCDecaux Advertising, who has listed Bangalore airport as a client among several other cities including Delhi and Chennai Metro on its website. The agency has put up several photos of their work inside the airport and in the Bangalore airport premises.
BOOM reached out to Bangalore International Airport Limited who refused to comment. We have also reached out to Shishir Singh, IAS officer and will update the copy upon a response.
Updated On: 2021-07-13T18:26:56+05:30