A 2018 video of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) found in a hotel room in Madhya Pradesh is being falsely shared as an incident from the recent Lok Sabha elections. BOOM found the video is from November 27, 2018, a day before MP started aseembly polls and not from the general elections.
The 48-second video shows EVMs kept in a hotel room with four men present in the room. A group of people can be heard questioning the four men present who identify themselves as polling officers on election duty and when asked about the EVMs, explain that they were not for use but were from the reserve poll.
The video is being shared on Facebook with the claim that an EVM was recovered from a hotel recently.
It is being shared with a caption, ‘Ye EVM hotel main kya kar Rahi hai’ which translates to, ‘What is this EVM doing in a hotel?’.
The video is also being shared on Twitter with a caption in Tamil.
BOOM received this video on its WhatsApp helpline number (7700906111) enquiring if the incident was recent.
BOOM found that the same video was viral on WhatsApp and Facebook since November 28 2018, the day of the Madhya Pradesh assembly elections.
In the video, one of the people recording it asks the men present in the room to identify themselves and where they are from, one of them responds with “Shajapur” which is a district in Madhya Pradesh.
BOOM ran a Google search with the key words ‘Madhya Pradesh’, ‘EVM’ ‘Hotel’ and found various news articles from local media and regional news outlets with most of them published on November 28, 2018. Read here and here.
BOOM also found a NewsLaundry article said the video had been shot by journalist named Manoj Purohit and stated, “The video was taken on the night of November 27, a day before polling, in a hotel room of Rajmahal Hotel in Shujalpur constituency of Shajapur district of Madhya Pradesh.”
BOOM found the video uploaded by Purohit on his Facebook account on November 28, 2018.
Following the viral video, the Election Commission (EC) issued a press release stating that disciplinary action had been ordered against the four polling officers present and two of them had also been suspended for taking EVMs and Voting-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines to a hotel.
It further stated that the EVMs and VVPATs were examined by engineers who found no attempts had been made to tamper them.