Did West Bengal use fake fingers in the current election of 2024? No, the images are from Japan!


Can’t read Bangla but, as the news explains, artificial natural looking fingers are being made and distributed in Bengal to use them for bogus voting …: shocking if not true, because anything is possible in Bengal !!#LokSabhaElections2024

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India is slated to hold seven phases of 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 concluded. Both parties are waging fierce back-to-back campaigns as India gets ready for the third phase.

In the meantime, we notice a shared image with an infographic in Bangla. Numerous tiny index fingers are depicted in the picture in a prosthetic form. When we translated the Bangla into English using Google Translate it read as “Fake fingers for vote rigging: Fake fingers are being made to cast fake votes. Fingers are not finger shells. You can’t tell if it’s real or fake. Polling workers can get fooled by inking those fingers. See how the country is doing.”

This post is shared with a claim stating, “Can’t read Bangla but, as the news explains, artificial natural looking fingers are being made and distributed in Bengal to use them for bogus voting …: shocking if not true, because anything is possible in Bengal.” This post is accompanied by the hashtag election 2024 with it. You can see similar claim posts here and here.

What’s the truth?

We started our analysis with relevant keyword searches on Google like ‘artificial fingers election’ and ‘index fingers India election 2024.’ This led us to an article by ABC News dated June 6, 2013. It is captioned as “Prosthetic Fingers Help Reform Japan’s Feared Yakuza Gangsters.”

According to the article, “In Japan, a stunted pinkie signifies membership in the yakuza, or Japanese mafia. In a ritual known as “yubitsume,” yakuza members are required to chop off their own digits to atone for serious offenses. The left pinkie is usually the first to go, though repeated offenses call for further severing. As a result, those who get out, have a hard time finding work because of the stigma attached to those missing fingers.”

The article went on to add that, Shintaro Hayashi prosthetics maker built a career making silicone body parts for patients with breast cancer, or legs and arms for those injured in serious accidents. His prosthetic pinkies are composed of silicone and are molded to perfectly cover the amputation, facilitating a more seamless adjustment to society. The fingers, which cost close to $3,000 apiece, are painstakingly painted to precisely match the client’s skin tone.

Five percent of Hayashi’s clientele are ex-yakuza members, who frequently preserve two sets of fingers: one with pale skin for winter and one with darker skin for summer.

The story also included an ABC News video that depicts the same artificial fingers from the viral footage that are resting on a table.

Upon conducting additional research, we discovered that a significant political party had placed a large purchase for silicon fingers ahead of the Uttar Pradesh elections in March 2017, sparking a significant scandal and media discussion.

According to the video in India Today, Sambu Kumar Yadav stated that a key customer of his artificial limbs company placed a sizable order for 300 to 500 silicon fingers from a consultant from the Delhi-born life.

In India, prosthetic fingers are also sold. Their value is marginally greater, though. Ten silicon fingers cost Rs 1.10 lakh, according to Prosthetic Consultants at P&O International Inc., the company that manages the Vimhans Hospital in Delhi.

The aforementioned details make it clear that the widely shared photo is not from India as claimed, but rather from Japan and dates back to 2013.


Therefore, we conclude that the widely circulated rumor that West Bengal is using prosthetic fingers for the current Lok Sabha election is false and deceptive. Those photos are from Japan and have nothing to do with the 2024 election that is happening right now.

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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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