Factcheck: Was Journalist Abhisar Sharma 'Bribing' A Villager To Speak Against The UP Government?

A video claiming the journalist was giving money to an old man to speak against the Uttar Pradesh government has taken social media by storm.

Abhisar sharma viral

A video clip of journalist Abhisar Sharma with a caption falsely accusing him of distributing money to villagers to speak against the Bharatiya Janta Party led government in Uttar Pradesh has taken Twitter by storm. Sharma has tweeted claiming it was a newspaper clipping and not money.

In the one-and-half minute long clip, Sharma can be seen handing over a folded piece of paper to one of the villagers while he continues speaking facing the camera. Many users on Twitter claimed this was money given by Sharma to a villager for speaking against the government.

Abhisar sharma giving money
Video viral on social media

The caption with the viral video reads: "Look at this toady Congressi. 'Pimp' Abhisar Sharma, you should have at least switched off the camera while distributing money (Original text: देखिए कांग्रेसी चमचे की करतूत 'दल्ले' अभिसार शर्मा पैसे बांटते समय तो कैमरा ऑफ कर लेता).

Fact Check

Responding to the serious allegations leveled at him, Abhisar Sharma has tweeted a video clip that he claims to be the original video.

The original video tweeted by Abhisar Sharma

In the video posted by Sharma, you can see a villager giving the journalist a newspaper-clipping. Sharma, then, asks him, "What is this?" At this point the camera zooms in on the newspaper-cutting. At a latter point in the video, Sharma is seen returning a folded piece of paper to the same villager.

BOOM found the original video that was published on news portal NewsClick on March 26 this year. Sharma was traveling through the villages of Western Uttar Pradesh with the NewsClick team in order to assess the ground reality ahead of the assembly elections.

Original video

While in the original video the camera faces away from Sharma and other villagers while the newspaper cutting is handed over to him, the clip produced by the journalist has a footage of the entire process.

BOOM, meanwhile, broke the video in frames and zoomed in on the piece of paper that Sharma gives to the villager.

Zooming in on one of the frames from the video
Zooming in on one of the frames from the video

frame-break and zoom in
Zooming in on one of the frames from the video

Twitterati troll Sharma

The journalist has claimed in his tweet that it was a newspaper clipping that he returned to the villager and not currency notes. Following this, several Twitterati have deleted their tweets and rendered apologies to the journalist. However, several tweets and Facebook posts are still being shared unabated.

Chowkidar Vikas Pandey (@MODIfiedVikas), also quote tweeted the viral video from another user Chowkidar Shwetank. The original tweet by Shwetank has since been deleted. Pandey in his tweet accused Sharma of having taken money from Congress.

Pandey is followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.

 tweet of vikas pandey
Screenshot of archived version of Vikas Pandey's tweet

You can access the archived version of Pandey's tweet here.

Abhisar Sharma's reply to Vikas Pandey's tweet

Another Twitter handle from which the tweet is still being retweeted and shared is that of @Being_Humor.

The Twitter handle hasn't pulled down the tweet despite Sharma's warning. The archived version of the tweet can be accessed here.

The tweet continues to be retweeted despite Sharma's warning

The video can be viewed here and its archived versions can be accessed here and here.

A previous version of the article said the handle Modified Vikas deleted his tweet, which is not the case.

Claim :   Journalist Abhisar Sharma distributing money to people for speaking in his favour
Claimed By :  Social media pages
Fact Check :  FALSE
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