Times Now fell for a fake account impersonating Asha Ranaut - Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut's mother - on Wednesday and falsely claimed that the former had lashed out against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in a tweet.
BOOM found that the fake handle @RealAshaRanaut was earlier impersonating Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat. Times Now recently fell for another fake account impersonating late actor Sushant Singh Rajput's sister.
On September 9, the channel picked up a tweet from a fake account and falsely claimed that Asha Ranaut said Uddhav Thackeray did not just demolish Kangana's office but had crushed the soul of his father - Shiv Sena supremo late Bal Thackeray.
Mumbai's municipal body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation demolished parts of Ranaut's production house on Wednesday, a move critics say was politically motivated. The Manikarnika star is in an ongoing war-of-words with the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government and has been critical on social media of the Mumbai Police's handling in the case of actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death.
Times Now's story from the same day was titled - 'Kangana's mother hits back at Uddhav, says 'you haven't crushed my daughter's office but Bal Thackeray's soul'
"Taking to Twitter, Asha Ranaut said: "Uddhav Thackeray, today you did not crush my daughter Kangana's office but the soul of late Bala Saheb ji Thackeray," the article further said.
The article was based on a tweet by the fake account which claims to be the actor's mother.
Asha Ranaut thanked Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday for providing Kangana with Y-level security. She is also reported to have slammed the Maharashtra government in a interview to Aaj Tak.
BOOM analysed the account pretending to be Asha Ranaut and found it was earlier pretending to be RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Twitter by using a fake id @DrMohanRss1
The account deleted its previous tweets before impersonating Asha Ranaut around September 7, 2020.
The fake handle has only 20 tweets, all in Hindi, which take a dig at Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena, BMC and asks its followers to retweet if they agree.
From Fake Mohan Bhagwat to Fake Asha Ranaut
We then ran that ID number through Google and found a third-party site that showed a cached version of a Twitter account with the same ID.
It showed that the account was earlier called DrMohanRss1 and had only 243 followers on August 16, one day after it was set up.
We than ran a search on Twitter using the string (to:DrMohanRss1) to find replies to the account @DrMohanRss1 and found a reply which reported the handle.
Although the account @DrMohanRss1 deleted its previous tweets and changed its handle to @RealAshaRanaut; it cannot delete replies from other users to it.
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