A video is going viral on social media with a claim that social activist Teesta Setalvad spit on Police personnel who are seen trying to arrest her. However, the woman seen in the video is not Teesta Setalvad but Netta D’Souza, the President of Mahila Congress. Let us learn more about the false narrative on social media and its truth.
In the above post, we can see reserve Police personnel arresting a woman. The woman who seems to be having an altercation with the officials is seen spitting at them. The user who shared this video alleges that the woman seen in the video is social activist Teesta Setalvad. The Gujarat ATS in connection with a fresh case of fordgery, conspiracy and insulting criminal proceedings to cause injury arrested Teesta Setalvad last month.
The caption of the post is as follows: “Teesta Javed Setalvad, Rough behaviour with police womens 😡😡”
The post is not alone in spreading the video on Facebook using the above caption. You can see a number of users sharing the same video using the same caption in the screenshot given below.
The video is being shared with the same claim on Twitter as well. Here are some examples of this narrative we found on the microblogging website.
We searched on Google using relevant keywords related to the viral video and found the video of Mahila Congress President, Netta D’Souza. The woman seen in the video is not Teesta Setalvad but Netta D’Souza who was arrested by Delhi Police while she was protesting against the questioning of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). You can see the video posted by ANI on Twitter.
This event stroked a controversy as many criticized her for spitting at the Police Personnel. After this, she posted a longer version of the same video on her Twitter handle and explained that, there is a propaganda against her. She was just spitting out the dust and hair that went in her mouth while being dragged by the Police Personnel and she did not intend to spit on the Police.
However, Delhi Police said that they would book her for spitting on the Police Personnel. In a a report published by Business Standard, the Special Commissioner of Police, Law and Order Division, Sagar Preet Hooda is quoted as follows:
“One of the protestors namely Netta D’Souza, All India Mahila Congress President, obstructed and assaulted the police personnel on duty and spitted over them for which a criminal case is being registered under appropriate sections of law.”
Thus, this video is not related to Teesta Setalvad. But, who is Teesta Setalvad?
Teesta Setalvad is an activist, journalist and a Padma Shri recipient. She is the secretary of the NGO called Citizens for Justice and Peace that works for the victims of 2002 riots. In June 2002, she had testified against the then CM of Gujarat Narendra Modi for his role in the 2002 Gujarat riots at the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. Her NGO and the widow of late Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, Zakia Jafri had filed a petition against Narendra Modi and others alleging a larger conspiracy during the riots. On June 24 this year, the Supreme Court dismissed these allegations and gave a clean chit to Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India.
The Supreme Court in their judgement said, “We uphold the decision of the Magistrate in accepting the final report dated 08.02.2012 submitted by the SIT as it is and rejecting the protest petition.”
A day after the judgment, Gujarat Police arrested Teesta Setalvad and former DGP of Gujarat R.B. Sreekumar. Both have been sent to judicial custody after their custodial interrogation by newly appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) was completed.
You can see an image comparison of Teesta Setalvad and Netta D’ Souza below.
The video purported on social media as activist Teesta Setalvad spitting on Police personnel, actually shows Mahila Congress President Netta D’Souza. The video was shot when Delhi Police were arresting Netta, during a protest against questioning of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi by ED.
Title:Video of Mahila Congress President Falsely Shared as Teesta Setalvad Spitting on Police…Fact Check By: Harish Nair