Old Video Of Vote Rigging Falsely Linked To WB Assembly Elections
BOOM found that the video is present on the internet since May, 2019.
An old video showing a polling agent illegally voting for two women has resurfaced with claims that it is from the ongoing West Bengal assembly elections.
The video shows a woman entering the area where the electronic voting machines are placed. Another woman, who appears to be a polling agent, can be seen at the kiosk, strictly prohibited for the entry of anyone but the voter. She pulls the former's hand and presses the EVM button and repeats the same process with the consecutive woman voter.
BOOM found that the claim is false and that the video is at least two years old. We found that the viral clip dates back to May 2019 and is not related to the current assembly polls.
Four phases of Assembly Elections in West Bengal were over on April 10. The eight-phased polls will conclude on April 29, 2021, and counting of votes will be done on May 2, 2021.
The fourth phase witnessed poll related violence in Cooch Behar which killed five people in two seperate incidents. According to reports four people were killed when a Quick Reaction Team (QRT) of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) fired in the air after it was surrounded by a mob during polling in the West Bengal Assembly Election 2021. In a press conference later in the day, the Election Commission of India (ECI) said that the troopers were forced to fire to "save the lives of the voters, those of other polling personnel, as well as their own."
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Keya Ghosh, vice president, BJP Mahila Morcha (West Bengal) shared the clip on her twitter handle, with the caption: "Got from WA. This is how TMC has been doing rigging. @ECISVEEP"
The video has been shared on Twitter by several users. Posts can be seen below and their archived versions can be accessed here and here.
BOOM also received the video on its tipline for verification.
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We ran a search on the internet using 'Booth Capturing' as keywords and found a report published on May 16, 2019, by NewsCentral 24*7. The report included a screenshot of the currently viral video.
The location of the incident is, however, uncertain but the report suggest it may be from somewhere in rural Bengal. "The exact source of the video and the place where this took place have not been ascertained yet. However, it has been suggested that it is from rural Bengal," the report reads.
The video has also been shared by some verified Twitter handles in May 2019.
The political editor of Hindustan Times, Vinod Sharma, had also shared the same video on May 15, 2019. He wrote: "Another achievement #ElectionCommission. Shocking to say the least."
While BOOM could not independently verify the location and the date when the incident occurred, we were able to ascertain that it is not from the ongoing West Bengal assembly elections.
BOOM had debunked a similar booth capture video from Haryana that occurred in 2019 general elections.
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