A video of INC leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi is going viral on social media. Mr. Gandhi can be seen addressing the press as Congress leaders from Kerala look on. Zee News had played this clip in their prime time show DNA and reported that Rahul Gandhi was commenting on the accused Riaz Akhtari and Gos Mohammad, arrested for the horrific murder of a tailor, Kanhaiya Lal in Udaipur.
The two assailants in a cold act of terror slaughtered Kanhaiya Lal in broad daylight. Subsequently, they released a video alleging that the deceased had supported former BJP Spokeswoman Nupur Sharma on social media. Rajasthan Police arrested the accused and currently NIA is investigating the case.
In the video given below, you can see Zee News anchor Rohit Ranjan first showing a clip of Rahul Gandhi. In the clip, Rahul Gandhi can be heard saying, “They are also children. So, it is not fine…it is not a good thing to do. But, they have acted in a irresponsible way…I don’t have any anger or hostility towards them. They have done a silly thing and…we should leave it at that. Because, I don’t think they understand the consequences of these things. So, we should be forgiving as far as they are concerned. ”
The anchor further claims that Rahul Gandhi made this comment as a response to a question about the brutal murder of Kanhaiya Lal in Udaipur. However, Rahul Gandhi was responding to completely unrelated question and he did not try to downplay the murder of Kanhaiya Lal as being implied in the social media posts.
There are many posts making similar claims about Rahul Gandhi. You can see the screenshots of some of these posts that claim Rahul Gandhi called the murderers of Kanhaiya, ‘innocent kids’.
When we searched for Rahul Gandhi’s press interaction using relevant keywords, we found that the Rahul Gandhi’s viral video was shot in Wayanad, Kerala. Rahul Gandhi is on a visit to Kerala and yesterday he visited his MP office in Wayanad. Activists of Students’ Federation of India (SFI), the student wing of Communist Party of India (Marxist), had vandalized the office. The office was attacked on 24 June 2022, following which a case was registered and some SFI activists were arrested.
Rahul Gandhi visited the office and after examining the damage done by SFI activists, he addressed the media. Kerala opposition leader V.D. Sateesan posted the live video of this media interaction, it can be seen below:
As you can see, Rahul Gandhi was actually responding to a question about SFI activists who vandalized his MP office. The reporter can be heard asking, “There was a ruckus here and vandalism. You just saw inside…stones are thrown, papers are torn…everything is in a torn condition…?” To which Rahul Gandhi responded, “First of all, this is my office but before being my office, this is the office of the people of Wayanad. This is the office of the voice of the people of Wayanad. So, it is quite an unfortunate thing-which has been done. Everywhere in the country you see – the idea that violence will resolve problems. And violence never resolves problems. However, the children who did this– They are also children. So, it is not fine…it is not a good thing to do. But, they have acted in a irresponsible way…I don’t have any anger or hostility towards them. They have done a silly thing and…we should leave it at that. Because, I don’t think they understand the consequences of these things. So, we should be forgiving as far as they are concerned.”
Clearly, Rahul Gandhi is referring to the SFI activists who vandalized his office and not killers of Kanhaiya Lal. The second question asked was about the Supreme Court’s remarks on Nupur Sharma that she was ‘responsible for the Udaipur incident’. To this, Rahul Gandhi responded as follows:
“The Supreme Court has said this and it is true. But, the atmosphere in the country is created by the ruling dispensation. It is not the person, who has made the comment, but it is the Prime Minister, the Home Minister – It is the BJP and the RSS that has created this environment in the country. This environment of anger- this environment of hatred – Frankly, the creation of this environment in the country is an anti-national activity. This is against the interest of India. This is against the interest of (the) people of India – and it is completely wrong. And it is going to lead to tragedy.”
He further refers to the vandals and calls them youngsters having different ideologies than the Congress and they do not appreciate the fact that they have destroyed his office. He was asked another question about the current situation of the country to which he replied, that he had made himself clear in the response to the previous question. We contacted Mr. Shamil, who is the Wayanad correspondent for Asianet. Mr. Shamil was present during the press interaction and he told us that no question was asked to Mr. Rahul Gandhi about the perpetrators of the Udaipur incident. He responded to queries about the vandalism of his office and SC’s remarks on Nupur Sharma and nothing else.
ANI’s reporter asked these questions to Mr. Gandhi and ANI has tweeted his responses in a series of tweets as follows:
Zee News too apologized after realizing their mistake during their news bulletin. You can watch them expressing regret for their mistake in the video given below tweeted by veteran actor and Congress leader Raj Babbar.
You can see the comparison between the report in DNA and the visuals of the press interaction between Rahul Gandhi and media.
The report from DNA that claimed Rahul Gandhi called the killers of Udaipur tailor Kanhaiya Lal, kids and deemed their acts pardonable was false. The Congress leader’s response to a question about SFI activists vandalizing his office in Wayanad was taken out of context and presented as his response to a question about the Udaipur incident. Rahul Gandhi neither made any comments about pardoning the murderers of Kanhaiya Lal nor did he call them ‘children’.
Title:Zee News misreports Rahul Gandhi’s Comments on SFI Vandalism as him calling murderers of Kanhaiya Lal, ‘Children’…Fact Check By: Harish Nair