A photo of Pratibha Borkar - Goa Congress's social media in-charge at a press conference is being shared online misidentifying Borkar as Rajkumari Bansal - the doctor from Jabalpur who was seen at the Hathras victim's house in Uttar Pradesh.
A controversy has broken out over the presence of Bansal at the Hathras victim's house after news channels initially reported her to be the sister-in-law of the victim. However, it was later revealed that she is not related to the victim's family. Several right-wing social media users have since infamously dubbed her as 'naxal bhabhi'.
BOOM had previously debunked a photo of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra hugging the Hathras victim's mother that was falsely shared claiming the latter is 'naxal bhabhi'. BOOM spoke to the victim's brother who confirmed that the woman seen with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, is his mother. Separately, Rajkumari Bansal also confirmed to BOOM that she was not present in Hathras on the day the Congress leaders visited the victim's family.
In the viral photo, three men including Congress spokesperson Gaurav Vallabh and a woman sitting together at a press meet with a Goa Pradesh Congress Committee board in the background.
The viral photo is being shared with the caption, "The fake Naxal Bhabi who was hugged by Priyanka Vadra at Hathras Case Impressive Drama enacted by Priyanka Vadra."
Viral on Twitter
The same photo was being shared falsely misidentifying the woman as 'naxal bhabhi'.
The viral photo that was tweeted with the false claim was also retweeted by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National Spokesperson Nupur Sharma.
The picture is viral in the backdrop of a Dalit girl from Hathras, Uttar Pradesh succumbing to her injuries in Safdarjung hospital, Delhi on September 29, 2020. The woman had been allegedly gang-raped and brutally assaulted by four upper caste men on September 14, 2020.
BOOM found that the woman in the viral photo is Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) social media in-charge Pratibha Borkar. The viral image is from a press conference by Goa Congress in September last year.
One can see that the same set of people in this Facebook live by Indian National Congress Goa on September 29, 2019, with Borkar wearing the same outfit as in the viral photo.
We found also found a news report dated October 2, 2020, about a press conference by Goa Congress condemning the Uttar Pradesh government citing inaction in the Hathras case.
One can spot Borkar in the press conference dated October 1, 2020, and her facial features match with the woman in the viral photo.
Additionally, we also found Borkar's Facebook account which was tagged by the Goa Congress in some posts and found that the viral photo had been picked up from her Facebook cover photo.
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BOOM reached out to Borkar who confirmed that she is present in the viral photo and stated that it is from last year during a press conference. "Yes, that is me in the viral photo but I am not the Rajkumari Bansal as being claimed. I have not been to Hathras, Uttar Pradesh or met Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in Hathras. This is an attempt to discredit the work done by Goa Congress by sharing such stuff as anyone can make out that the two are different people."
The woman being termed as the 'naxal bhabhi' by several right-wing accounts is a doctor named Rajkumari Bansal who is a faculty at a medical college in Jabalpur. BOOM contacted Bansal who denied she is the woman in the viral photo at a Congress press conference and also denied that she has ever met Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
"I have not met any political leader to date, I am a government employee, Priyanka Gandhi probably reached Hathras on October 3, 2020, and I reached Hathras on October 4, 2020, I have never met Priyanka Gandhi ji," Bansal told BOOM.
On comparing Bansal and Goa Congress leader Pratibha Borkar, one can clearly see that both are different people and their facial features do not match.
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