A clip from Kerala 2012 students’ protest is falsely shared as Karnataka Congressmen burnt Modi’s effigy!

Claim

While burning the effigy of Modi in Karnataka, the lungis of five Congressmen caught fire! See how this all happened. Now even Modiji’s effigies have started teaching lessons. Modiji’s power

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Explanation

India is slated to hold seven general elections between April 19, 2024, and June 1, 2024. On June 4, 2024, the results will be made public after the vote-counting procedure. The Lok Sabha election’s first and second phases have now concluded. Both parties are waging fierce back-to-back campaigns as India enters its third phase of general elections.

In this instance, a roadside gathering of individuals is captured in a 30-second film. We also observe that they are carrying an effigy, which they set down on the road and begin to burn. Regretfully, it caught fire, scattering everyone nearby to run in different directions. This post is shared with a claim stating, “While burning the effigy of Modi in Karnataka, the lungis of five Congressmen caught fire! See how this all happened. Now even Modiji’s effigies have started teaching lessons. Modiji’s power.” You can view a similar claim post here.

What’s the truth?

Using the keyframes from the viral video and a pertinent keyword search, we began our investigation. This took us to a video on YouTube. We discovered a video report from Asianet News on YouTube. It contained the viral footage and was headlined ‘Lucky Fire Escape for KSU workers in Pathanamthitta’. It was published on July 5, 2012.

When we looked into the description box of the video it read “Protest March and burning effigy of MG University Vice Chancellor by KSU workers turned lucky fire escape for them.”

Using this as a hint, we discovered the same viral video posted on a Facebook page. When compared to the viral clip, this video’s quality was significantly better. This video was uploaded on September 1, 2012, and has the caption “Funny Incident – Lungi Catches Fire.” The viral video also features a few stores with Malayalam names behind the angry group.


Moreover, the same incident was also covered by a Times Of India article dated July 24, 2012. The report states that on July 4, 2012, a group of students set fire to an effigy as a form of protest against the vice chancellor of MG University’s alleged corruption. Some students were hurt in this incident as the effigy’s flames got out of control, and they were taken to a Pathanamthitta private hospital.

All this information confirms that the viral video is 12 years old and not from Karnataka as the viral claim suggests.

Conclusion:

We therefore conclude that the widely circulated rumor that five Congressmen’ lungis caught fire as they were burning Modi’s effigy in Karnataka is false and misleading. Actually, the incident occurred in Kerala in 2012 when students at MG University staged a protest against corruption led by their vice-chancellor.

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Indu Meenakshi

Indu Meenakshi is a former Microbiologist-turned-journalist, works as a Sub-Editor at YouTurn. She additionally holds Master’s in Management and English Literature. As a fact-checker, her job entails actively dispelling false information found online, exposing fake news, and raising public awareness.
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