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Fact Check: Did PM Modi quote a satirical website 'Faking News' to attack Omar Abdullah in Parliament?

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There is not enough evidence to suggest that PM Modi quoted a satirical website 'Faking News' to attack former J&K CM Omar Abdullah in Parliament. Several fact-checkers have given premature judgment. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Lok Sabha on February 6. In an over hour-long speech, he attacked the opposition for their stand on Citizenship Amendment Act and the revocation of Article 370.

During his speech, he mentioned that the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah had said that the abrogation of Article 370 will bring a massive earthquake that it will divide Kashmir from India.

You can watch the relevant section here:

Following this, a left-leaning fact-checking website that has been caught spreading rumors on making occasions in the past was quick to claim that PM Modi quoted a satirical website ‘Faking News’ to attack former J&K CM Omar Abdullah in Parliament. You can read their article here.

Here is the archived version of their article.

In their article, they mentioned that since they couldn't find any authentic news portal quoting Omar Abdullah's statement, PM Modi has quoted the satirical website which has published a similar satirical article in 2014, a few days after PM Modi's victory in the Loksabha election.

Altnews' article was shared by the official Twitter handle of the Indian Nation Congress.

Scroll, Altnews, BoomLive, The Logical Indian and several other media houses published an article claiming the same.

Fact Check

AltNews' claim that PM Modi has quoted a satirical website is premature. We were able to find a blog post published by Punjab Kesari dated 10th April 2019. In the article, the author has claimed that Mehbooba Mufti and Abdullah had warned that if Article 370 and 35A ends, it will bring a massive earthquake in Kashmir that will finish India. (translated from Hindi). Here is the archived version of the article.

Punjab Keshri is a reputed Hindi newspaper in the Nothern belt of India. The opinion piece was written by Vishnu Gupta. 

Since Punjab Keshri, part of the mainstream media has published an article quoting Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, the allegation on PM Modi that he has quoted a satirical website is not correct.

Did Omar Abdullah really talk about breaking India?

If we search for the exact quote, we didn't get any results apart from that satirical post by Faking News. Speaking to NDTV, Imran Dar, spokesperson of Abdullah's party National Conference also denied that Abdullah had made such a comment. "Every statement of Omar Abdullah is in the public domain and he has not made any such statement," Dar told NDTV.

However, Omar Abdullah had made several provocative statements about Article 370 and Kashmir.

On 27th May 2014, Omar Abdullah had tweeted, "Mark my words & save this tweet - long after Modi Govt is a distant memory either J&K won't be part of India or Art 370 will still exist".

Probably this tweet led Faking News to publish the satirical article on 28th May 2014. The same day, while speaking to News 18 about Article 370, he said in a warning language that he will see what happens when Article 370 is abrogated but he will not open all his cards in advance. 

On Aug 5, 2019, Omar Abdullah had warned of "Dangerous Consequences" after Article 370 was abrogated in the state. NDTV had quoted him:

"The government of India (GOI)'s unilateral and shocking decisions today are a total betrayal of the trust that the people of Jammu & Kashmir had reposed in India when the State acceded to it in 1947. The decisions will have far-reaching and dangerous consequences. This is an aggression against people of the State as had been warned by an all-parties meeting in Srinagar yesterday".

ANI had shared his full statement in which he warned about a long battle after the abrogation of Article 370.

In April 2019, Omar Abdullah had said that he will restore Wazir-e-Azam, Sadr-e-Riyasat posts in Kashmir if article 370& 35A removed.

Even though Omar Abdullah has never directly said that the abrogation of Article 370 will bring a massive earthquake that it will divide Kashmir from India. However, he has certainly spoken about the division of Kashmir from India if Article 370 is abrogated.

Did PM Modi quote "Faking News"?

Vishnu Gupt, the author of the blog post in Punjab Keshari had paraphrased what Omar Abdullah had tweeted in 2014. Now it is not possible to say whether he was influenced by the article published by Faking News or not. It may also be possible that Vishnu Gupt was not even aware of Faking news' article and just used the same figure of speech which was used on Faking News too. It can't be said with certainty that he quoted Faking News. It is important to mention that even though the statement was rephrased and a figure of speech was added, it doesn't change the meaning of what Omar Abdullah had said.

Now, there are three cases for PM Modi

Case 1: PM Modi himself paraphrased what Omar Abdullah had said in 2014.

Case 2: He quoted Vishnu Gupt Blog post in Punjab Keshari

Case 3: He fell for satirical website Faking News as claimed by Altnews

It is impossible for anyone to prove any of these case true. It is premature to claim that PM Modi quoted a satirical website.

In conclusion, there is not enough evidence to suggest that PM Modi quoted a satirical website 'Faking News' to attack former J&K CM Omar Abdullah in Parliament

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