Priyanka Jha, Kinjal
Actor Kangna Ranaut’s name has constantly been in the headlines following the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. In the middle of the ongoing investigation, Ranaut compared Mumbai to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK), which ignited a fiery dispute between her and the Shiv Sena. The bitter back and forth between the Shiv Sena and the actor has been going on for some time now. Following this, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) tore down her office in Mumbai, stating that it had allegedly been constructed illegally. Soon after, the Bombay High Court reprimanded the BMC for its actions. This also led to the Karni Sena coming out in support of the actor.
Social media was soon flooded with photos and videos claiming that the Karni Sena had sent a 1000 vehicle convoy to Mumbai for her support. Anjali Yadav, who describes herself as a member of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha Karnataka, wrote on Twitter, “In support of Kangana Ranaut, 1000 Karni Sena vehicles left for Maharashtra. Jai Bhavani Jai Rajputana. Now look at how strong we are… Jai Shri Ram.” (Archived link to the tweet)
कंगना राणावत के सम्मान में, 1000 गाड़ियों के साथ करणी सेना महाराष्ट्र रवाना। जय भवानी जय राजपूताना। अब देखो हमारी ताकत।।। जय श्रीराम 🙏🚩 pic.twitter.com/g7xKM5uniG
— Anjali Yadav (@AnjaliYadav0707) September 9, 2020
A Facebook page called ‘Sangh Darshan’ posted these pictures with the same claim on September 9. This post had been shared over 4,100 times at the time of writing. (Post link archive)
@Kanganaoffical7, a Kangana Ranaut parody account, had also shared these photos on Twitter.
A video was also shared with a similar claim. “Here is the Mumbai Karni Sena’s convoy in support of Kangana Ranaut.”
The Karni Sena has indeed come out in support of Kangana Ranaut. However, we could not find any information which suggested that they had sent 1000 vehicles to Mumbai in support of the actor. In reality, old videos and pictures are being shared to justify these claims being made online. In this article, we will verify the origins of the images and videos one by one.
When we did a reverse image search, we found this picture in a reply to a tweet by Sachin Pilot from March 27, 2016. Pilot had said that the image showed his convoy going from Jodhpur to Barmer. Apart from this, we found another user who had shared this picture on March 22, 2016, mentioning that it was Sachin Pilot’s convoy. Based on this information, we also found that it had been posted on March 22, 2016 by the Facebook page of the Barmer Congress. The Barmer Congress had also tweeted a link to this Facebook post on March 22, 2016.
A reverse image search of the second image led us to a tweet dated March 1, 2017. The user who posted this tweet mentioned that this was a picture from Gujarat.
After doing a reverse image on this one, we found that it had been shared by the Shri Rashtriya Rajput Karni Sena Facebook page on December 22, 2019.
The video could not have been shot recently since no one can be seen wearing a mask. We also noticed a few other details that gave us clues to its origins.
1. The words ‘Jammu Kashmir National Panthers Party’ can be seen on a billboard near the right side of the image. This is a political party in Jammu & Kashmir which has a cycle as its election symbol.
2. A banner on the hood of a car says ‘Yuva Rajput Sabha’.
3. ‘Maharaja Hari Singh’ can be seen written on another banner on the vehicle.
Using this as a starting point, we did a keyword search and found many other such videos. According to a few reports, these rallies are held in Jammu annually to honour Maharaja Hari Singh on his birthday. A local organization called the Yuva Rajput Sabha of Jamma organizes these rallies every year. The keyword search also led us to the same video on Youtube, which we found had been uploaded two years ago in 2018.
The video quality here is much higher than that of the video currently going viral. In it, the license plates of these vehicles can also be seen. The license plates on two of the cars here start with the letters ‘JK’, which is the code of Jammu & Kashmir.
To sum it up, the images and videos in question do not actually show a convoy of vehicles the Karni Sena sent to Mumbai in support of Kangana Ranaut. These visuals are unrelated and are actually a few years old. While the Karni Sena has indeed come forward in support of Ranaut, we did not find any news of the alleged 1000 vehicle convoy. According to this report, when the actor left for Mumbai, both the Karni Sena and RPI workers had reached the Mumbai Airport to express their support and welcome her.
This story first appeared in ‘Alt News’ on September 12, 2020 here.