A four-minute-long video of a woman criticising the government at an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act rally in Delhi earlier in January is going viral with a false claim that the woman shows late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's niece.
The caption in Hindi translates to: " Respected Vajpayee ji's niece has finally broken her silence, listen to what she has to say."
(Translated from Hindi: माननीय वाजपयी जी की भतीजी ने आखिरकार तोड़ी चुप्पी | जानिए क्या कहा)
The video comes at a time when protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and a proposed National Register of Citizens have gone unabated for over a month.
In the video, the woman can be seen saying the following in Hindi.
"They (Britishers) did a lot of bad but at least they were outsiders. First of all, they were not ours, they were not from this land. They came from afar and came here to do this. But still, the difference between them (Indian government and Britishers) was that they (Britishers) were educated. They were not this illiterate. At least they didn't do this with Britishers that the government is doing with its own people. Why can't they understand they are Indian. They should talk about India. They tell Congress, they tell others, they tell us - why are you silent about Pakistan? Are we crazy that we should talk about Pakistan? Are you not enough to talk about Pakistan? You are obsessed with Pakistan. You can't think of anything else besides Pakistan. Whenever you speak you always speak about Pakistan. Who will talk about India? Pakistanis did not elect you, we elected you. And we regret electing you."
BOOM also received the same video on its helpline from a user asking about its veracity.
The video is also viral on Facebook
We also noticed that the boom mic held in the video showed a logo of HNP news and found the video on their YouTube channel uploaded on January 3, 2020.
Furthermore, we found a post by one Naziya Alvi Rahman who posted that the woman in the video was her sister Atiya Alvi.
Naziya Alvi wrote, "This is exactly how fake news spreads. Read the caption below. I so badly wish it was true but it isn't. She is my humble sister. Atiya Alvi Siddiqui".
BOOM contacted Atiya Alvi through Facebook. She confirmed that the woman in the video was her. "I had gone to Mandi House for a protest and that's where this interview happened," Atiya told BOOM. She also said she wouldn't describe herself as an activist but rather a 'concerned citizen'.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee's Niece Karuna Shukla
Atal Bihari Vajpayee's niece is Karuna Shukla, who does not look like Atiya Alvi Siddiqui and is 70-year-old. Congress fielded Shukla in 2018 for the Vidhansabha election from Rajnandgaon in Chattisgarh. Karuna Shukla was a member of parliament and was a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, but left the BJP post-2014. She has been vocal about state and other issues and accused the BJP of using Atal Bihari Vajpayee's death for political gains in the Lok Sabha elections of 2019.
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