Altnews prematurely declares that no stones were thrown from inside the college during Vidyasagar violence. They updated the article after we pointed out but yet to inform their readers about the correction.
After violence was reported at BJP President Amit Shah’s rally in which a bust of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was broken by some unknown miscreants (not clear till now), Alt News, a left-leaning fact-checking website concluded that the bust was not broken by TMC workers and in the entire article they have built the narrative the violence was started by BJP workers and bust was most likely broken by them.
Altnews used a video of local news organisation Anandabazar to claim that only BJP workers were seen pelting stones from outside of the campus.
Sharing the above video, Altnews wrote:
There are neither ground reports nor visuals circulating on social media that back the allegation that the violence was started after a brick was thrown from inside the college campus.
Local news organisation Anandabazar’s ground report shows stones being hurled inside the premises by people standing outside on the road, wearing saffron coloured ‘NaMo Again’ t-shirts. The footage does not show any person throwing stones from inside the campus.
Ironically, the same video was shared by the co-founder of Alt News Md. Zubair on 15th May and we had pointed out to him that we can see the stones coming from inside.
We slowed down the video to highlight the stones coming from inside the campus. In the slowed down video stone or some object was thrown twice from the inside (8-10 sec & 19-21 sec). Man in white started seeing the object (after 8th sec) that came from inside..a man in turban threw a stone inside..at the same time an object was seen coming from inside. You can see the slowed down video below:
In the original video used by AltNews, the relevant section is from 36th seconds onward.
Conclusion: The slowed down video clearly refutes the claim of Alt News that no stones were thrown from inside the campus.
In fact, news broadcast by local Bengali channel Arambagh TV clearly shows that bricks were thrown from both sides.
We had pointed it out to Altnews yesterday after which they updated their article with a small note at the bottom of the article. But they are yet to inform their readers about the update. (There was no tweet or FB post at the time of writing this article).
There are conflicting reports about the violence in Amit Shah's rally. According to Indian Express, it was BJP supporters who started the violence.
The student wing of TMC, were protesting near the front gate of the University and shouting “Amit Shah go back” slogans. Angered by the protest, BJP workers, including ABVP activists, threw water bottles, bricks, stones and sticks at the protesters.
On the other hand, a report by Times of India has quoted officials:
Shah's convoy was attacked with stones by alleged TMC supporters from inside the hostel of Vidyasagar College, triggering a clash between supporters of the two parties.
While BJP president Amit Shah shared some pictures in a press conference to claim that TMC workers inside the campus might be involved in this since the gate was locked from outside, Alt news has shown some videos to claim that BJP workers may have been involved in this. But Alt news' assumption that people wearing saffron clothes are BJP workers may be wrong.
At this point of time, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest who started the violence and who broke the bust.
This is not the first time for Altnews. They had cropped an image to prove True Indology wrong which was debunked by us last year. You can read that article here:
Altnews falsely accused PM Modi of giving a communal speech by cherry picking one sentence from his speech.
Last year Altnews was caught misleading its followers by misquoting BJP and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prashad. They even fabricated a few lies to falsely prove that BJP is misleading the people on Rafale.
When we pointed this out to Pratik Sinha, co-founder of Alt News, he didn't even acknowledge it and silently updated the article.
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