HomeEnglishFact Check: Balen Shah Vowed To Provide Justice To Cricketer Lamichhane? No,...

Fact Check: Balen Shah Vowed To Provide Justice To Cricketer Lamichhane? No, Viral Video Is Misleading

Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

Claim
Kathmandu Metro City Mayor Balendra Shah said that he will provide justice to cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane from Patan High Court.
Fact
No, Mayor Balen Shah has not spoken in support of cricketer Lamichhane. 

A video claiming that Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) Balendra Shah ‘Balen’ has vowed to provide justice to star cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane through Patan High court has gone viral on TikTok. The video goes on to claim that Mayor Shah became indignant saying that the people who make the country proud are intimidated in Nepal.

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Earlier on January 10, the Kathmndu District Court sentenced star cricketer Lamichhane to eight years in jail after convicting him for raping an 18-year-old woman in 2022.

TikTok user @balenshah100sapoter posted a video showing several images of Mayor Balen Shah and cricketer Lamichhane. Voice-over accompanying the video says, “Balen Shah has spoken in the Sandeep Lamichhane scandal, and says he will ensure justice to the star cricketer. This video will provide all the information on why Balen Shah stood in support of Sandeep Lamichhane. Balen lost his cool saying that the people who always think about the country and make the country proud are intimidated in Nepal. Raising objection to the conviction of Sandeep Lamichhane in a rape case by the Kathmandu District Court, Shah said that the consensual relationship can’t been considered a rape… Many people have been saying that Balen Shah should speak about the case involving cricketer Lamichhane. Balen has also made public something about Gaushala 26, the girl said to be a rape victim at the hands of Lamichhane. Balen Shah remarked that Lamichhane should be innocent based on the statement of Gaushala 26’s room partner.” Text superimposed on the video reads, “It is good that Balen has spoken in favour of Sandeep Lamichhne, please comment.”

The video posted on February 12 has garnered 27.6k likes, 259 users have shared it and 973 people have commented until the last count. The archived version of the TikTok video can be seen here.
Newschecker found the claim to be misleading.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the authenticity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker conducted several searches by using relevant keywords but the results didn’t match the claim made in the viral video. We also scoured the social media pages of Balen Shah to check if he has ever made any remarks or comments in support of cricketer Lamichhane. But we didn’t find any results.

Then, we took several key frames from the viral video and conducted reverse searches on them. A reverse search on an image of Balen Shah led us to an editorial, dated December 17, 2023, published in the Kathmandu Post.  The image carried in the article had the post’s watermark indicating that the image was originally captured by Kathmandu post.

Further, we conducted a reverse search on an image of Sandeep Lamichhane and found that image was carried in an article, dated March 2, 2023, published on ESPNCricInfo. The image carried in the article exactly matched a frame from the viral video.

Thus, our findings showed that Balen Shah has never spoken in support of cricketer Lamichhane or vowed to get him a clean-chit from Patan High court.

Conclusion

No, Kathmandu Mayor Balendra Shah has not said that he will ensure a clean-chit to cricketer Lamichhane from Patan High Court. The viral video is created by using unrelated images and thus, is misleading.

Result: False

Sources
Balen Shah Facebook
Balen Shah Twitter (formerly X)
ESPN Cric Info, March 2, 2023


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Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

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