A 14-year old video showing an NDTV reporter rolling on the street in order to escape getting caught in a crossfire is viral on social media with captions purportedly claiming that the man in the video journalist Ravish Kumar.
BOOM found that the person in the viral video is journalist Fayaz Bukhari and not Ravish Kumar. We contacted Bukhari who confirmed that it was him in the video. Bukhari told us that the clip was from a Congress rally in Kashmir in 2006 and he was trying to take cover as there was heavy firing and he was 'in the open doing a live broadcast without any cover'. Bukhari is not associated with the channel anymore.
Ravish Kumar, Senior Executive Editor at NDTV India and a Magsaysay awardee is a frequent target of disinformation.
The 20-second-long video has been overlaid with a Bollywood song. A reporter can be seen rolling on the ground towards one side of the road.
The video has been shared by several verified Twitter handles including an MLA belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh.
In his tweet, BJP MLA Indu tiwari writes in Hindi 'Recognise this messiah journalist? He is that reservoir which gives sermons to the world on journalism. He feels that journalism of today is a joke. How are you Ravish Kumar?'.
(Hindi: इस मसीहा पत्रकार को पहचानते हैं? ये दुनिया को पत्रकारिता पर ज्ञान देने की खान हैं। इन्हें आजकल की पत्रकारिता इन्हें मज़ाक़ लगता है। क़ैदें हैं रविश कुमार।)
Click here for archive of the tweet.
The same video was tweeted by journalist Sushant Sinha with a Hindi caption that translates to 'Recognise this messiah journalist? Hint: He gives the world sermons on journalism'.
(Hindi: इस मसीहा पत्रकार को पहचानते हैं? (Hint: ये दुनिया को पत्रकारिता पर ज्ञान देने की खान हैं)
Check archive here.
The same video has been shared on Facebook with a Hindi claim which translates to 'He gives sermons on Arnab's journalism but look at Ravish Kumar's journalism'.
(Hindi: अर्नब के पत्रकारिता पर ज्ञान पेलने वाले "रविश कुमार" ये कौन सी "नागिन डांस पत्रकारिता" कर रहे है.??)
Click here for archive.
The same video has been shared on Twitter with the same claim.
BOOM found that the video has been culled from a sarcastic video on Ravish Kumar shared by right-wing website OpIndia.
The Hindi caption with the video uploaded on September 30, 2020 translates to 'Ravish ki Nayi Report: Bhojpuri Ravish 'Bakait Kumar's' report's season begins. We will discuss his Bhojpuri Live irrationality today'.
(Hindi: S2E01: Ravish ki Nayi Report: Bhojpuri Ravish बकैत कुमार की रिपोर्ट का सीजन 2 शुरु हो रहा है। आज उनके भोजपुरी लाइव बकैती पर चर्चा करेंगे।
The first few seconds of the video shows the same footage that's viral now.
We then performed a keyword search with the words 'NDTV reporter rolling on road' and found a video uploaded on August 27, 2013 on NDTV's YouTube page under the title 'NDTV Bloopers 2006: Err, rolling?'.
The comments on the video mention that the reporter is not Ravish Kumar but some Bukhari from Kashmir. Upon searching on internet with the relevant keywords we found the name of Fayaz Bukhari, an ex-NDTV journalist.
BOOM then tracked the Facebook profile of Bukhari and found that the same YouTube video was uploaded by him on June 10, 2014.
We then contacted Fayaz Bukhari who told us over message that it was him in the video.
"There was a Congress rally which came under fidayin attack in May 2006. I was doing live after it was over. And no one was knowing that one more militant was alive and was hiding nearby. All of a sudden there was heavy firing and I was in open doing live broadcast without any cover (Sic)," Bukhari told BOOM.
The journalist further added that the camera persons had taken cover and he was the only one who was exposed to fire. "I ducked and rolled to reach behind the other camera persons to get cover from direct fire. It was from Poloview near city centre Srinagar," he added.
BOOM looked for media reports of a fidayeen attack on Congress rally in Srinagar in 2006 and found several reports. We also found an Associated Press video from the same incident shot from a different angle and uploaded on YouTube on July 28, 2015.
We compared screenshots of the viral video with that from the AP video and found several resemblance.