Fact Check: No, Indira Gandhi didn't invite Kiran Bedi for lunch when she challaned PM's car

Posted on 2019-04-22 16:42:34 by Neel Kamal


The Vyapam whistleblower Dr. Anand Rai, Mahila Congress, and Ashok Swain falsely claimed that Indira Gandhi invited Kiran Bedi for lunch when she towed her car.

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On April 20, the Vyapam whistleblower Dr. Anand Rai tweeted a picture of Kiran Bedi dining with the former prime minister Indira Gandhi to claim that Indira Gandhi had even invited obnoxious Kiran Bedi for lunch after she had fined a PM's car and also gave her award. Whereas IAS officer Mohsin was suspended for checking PM Modi's helicopter. This is the difference between the values of Nehru and RSS.

The official Twitter Handle of Mahila Congress also tweeted the picture with a caption "Rare to find leaders like Indira Gandhi When Kiran Bedi booked a challan on PM's vehicle for wrong parking, Indira ji invited her for lunch personally at PMO to honor her fearless commitment towards duty".

Ashok Swain who is known for sharing fake news also retweeted the picture and wrote "Indira Gandhi had even invited obnoxious Kiran Bedi for lunch after she had fined a PM's car, but Modi first suspended Mohammed Mohsin for checking his car & now he has been taken off from election duty in Odisha & transferred back to office of Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer."

Indira Gandhi invited Kiran Bedi after she saw her leading 26th Jan' Parade in 1975

We found that the picture has been tweeted by Kiran Bedi herself on several occasions in the past. On 19th Nov 2017, she tweeted the picture and wrote "It was a rare privilege being with Mrs Indira Gandhi. I was very fond of her. She too was very proud of my having joined the IPS. She used invite me to her functions and introduce me as India's first woman in the officer ranks of IPS.. This pic is of Jan 1975 at her residence."

The caption at the bottom of the picture reads "Invited to breakfast with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi after leading the Republic Day Parade".

Earlier in 2014, she had tweeted the same picture to remember Indira Gandhi. She also wrote that Indira Gandhi invited her for breakfast after she saw her leading 26th Jan' Parade in 1975.

Did Kiran Bedi challan Indira Gandhi's Car?

In an interview with NDTV's Ravish Kumar during Delhi Assembly election in 2015, Kiran Bedi said that it was sub-inspector Nirmal Singh, who towed the car of the former PM Indira Gandhi.

She said: "that time I was asked, will you take action against this officer. No, I said, I will give this person an award for showing courage. When asked if Gandhi was in the car, Bedi said that it was a "PM house car."

The actual version of the incident was mentioned on Kiran Bedi's own website but the web page has been removed now. The text of the article:

New Delhi. When the Deputy Police Commissioner (Traffic) Mrs Kiran Bedi started a drive against wrong parking last year, no one could have imagined that even the Prime Minister’s car would come into the dragnet. But the impossible happened. On 5 August, when Mrs Gandhi and her family members where away in the USA, a Traffic Sub-Inspector found a white Ambassador (DHD1817) wrongly parked outside the Yusufzai Market, Connaught Circus in the heart of the city. Only after he had made out a challan did he realize that it was the official car of the PM . The security men accompanying the car (which had gone there for repairs) pointed this out to the traffic officer. But he was adamant. Wrong parking was illegal, whether it is by a commoner or a VIP, he told the security men. 
    An inquiry has been ordered into the incident. As soon as the PM returned from her tour, the matter was brought to her notice. The scope of the inquiry is how was there a lack of coordination between the VIP security and the traffic wings of the Delhi police? Mrs Kiran Bedi has, however, made it public that the question of putting the heat on an officer who was merely carrying out his duties did not arise.
   The incident, meanwhile has exposed a chink in the Delhi Traffic Police. The shop to which Mrs. Gandhi's car went, Handa and Company, belongs to a friend of a powerful aide of the PM.  The shop deals in car accessories and upholstery. The popularity of the shop attracts many carowners. But to take a car to the shop also invites a traffic challan because of the shop's location. The car park on the opposite pavement is usually overcrowded (as a popular restaurant and hotel are located there). The traffic police have been refusing to recognize the fact that as long as Handa and Babbar Sons, two popular car accessory dealers, are located at the Yusufzai Market, carowners are bound to park their cars outside the shops and get the fittings done. Though the existing traffic rules prohibit parking in that area, surely this reality has to be taken into the account as well. Whether the incident involving the PM’s car will awaken the Traffic Police to the realities of the situation or not is difficult to say. But Mrs Bedi’s traffic drive certainly has reached the gates of 1 Safdurjung Road.

Here is the screenshot of the page.

There are several media reports (NDTV, First Post, HuffingtonPost) which have reported Nirmal Singh as the person who towed the car of Indira Gandhi.

As DCP (Deputy Commissioner of Police), Kiran Bedi protected the junior officer and confirmed that he was not punished for doing his duty.

Conclusion: Kiran Bedi never challaned or towed the car of Indira Gandhi. The viral picture of Kiran Bedi with Indira Gandhi was taken when Indira Gandhi invited her for breakfast after she saw her leading 26th Jan' Parade in 1975.

The viral image in question was taken in 1975, and the "car towing" incident happened must later, in 1982. So the picture has no relation with the incident.

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