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HomeEnglishFact Check: Has Gagan Thapa Been Kicked Out Of Kathmandu Valley? No,...

Fact Check: Has Gagan Thapa Been Kicked Out Of Kathmandu Valley? 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 essential today than ever before.

Claim
Nepali Congress leader Gagan Thapa assaulted and chased away from Kathmandu Valley
Fact
Nepali Congress leader Thapa has not been attacked or dragged out of Kathmandu

A video claiming that Nepali Congress General Secretary Gagan Thapa has been attacked and kicked out of Kathmandu valley by hundreds of thousands of people is going viral on TikTok.

NC General Secretary Thapa, who is also a member of federal parliament, had vehemently supported for the ratification of Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Nepal Compact. While trying to convince that there is no harm in endorsing the MCC Nepal Compact from the parliament, Thapa had passionately expressed his readiness, in case the MCC Nepal Compact puts Nepal’s sovereignty at stake, be dragged out of Kathmandu Valley through Thankot, get stripped of his citizenship and property.  

The US$ 500 million worth MCC Nepal Compact is the United States aid project to build infrastructure projects related to transmission lines and road networks. It had become the most hotly debated issue in Nepal with its detractors arguing that the MCC is part of the US’s Indo-pacific strategy and undermines Nepal’s sovereignty.

Against this backdrop, TikTok user @-gyanendrashahi49 posted a video showing a clash between security personnel and protesters. Alongside the video, an image of Nepali Congress member of parliament (MP) Gagan Thapa wearing a bandage is seen on the top right corner. Audio accompanying the video presented in a News bulletin style says, “Nepali Congress leader Gagan Thapa, who had assured that the United States soldiers wouldn’t come to Nepal, has been chased and assaulted, hundreds of thousands of people dragged him out of Kathmandu.” Text superimposed on the video reads, “Gagan Thapa crossed Thankot.”

The archived version of the TikTok video can be seen here.

The video posted on September 12 has garnered 8556 likes, 326 users have shared the video, 260 people have commented on it until the time of publishing this article.

Newschecker found the claim to be misleading.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the authenticity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker closely watched and noticed the text popping on the screen before the footage. The Nepali text reading “Mero Nepal Mero Kala your own channel” gave us a clue. So, we looked up and found the YouTube channel named Mero Nepal Mero Kala. We, then, thoroughly searched the recent videos posted on the channel. On checking a video, dated September 11, 2023, posted on the channel, we found the video frames from the 0.17-minute timestamp exactly matched the viral video.

In the 9.57-minute video, we can see a collage of several clips and images including a clip of Nepali Congress lawmaker Gagan Thapa passionately speaking in the parliament in support of the MCC, while the three clips showed clashes between police and demonstrators.

Newschecker checked other videos posted on the YouTube channel and found that the channel is a known offender and has been regularly posting unverified and false contents.

Then, we checked the social media X (formerly Twitter) handle of Gagan Thapa and found that he has been posting regularly on the platform. He has posted a snap with his father on the occasion of Father’s Day on September 14. Earlier on September 11, he posted images from the BP Literature at Nepali Congress Party office in Sanepa, Lalitpur. Thapa’s social media posts indicate that he has not been attacked or chased away from Kathmandu Valley.

Further, to find the truth behind an image, depicting Thapa wearing bandage around his head, used in the viral video, we conducted a search on google by using relevant keywords and found an article, dated December 5 2017, carrying an image whose frames resembled the image used in the viral video. On checking the article titled ‘NC leader Thapa among 11 injured in a blast’ published on Kathmandu Post online, we found that the image showed Thapa after he was injured in a blast in Kathmandu during an election campaign in December 2017.

We then searched for the facts behind the arrival of US soldiers in Nepal and found an article, dated September 7, 2023, published on the Annapurna Express online, which states that a 12-member US Army team arrived in Kathmandu for a joint military drill with Nepal Army. The article further reads that the drills from September 10-15 will focus on disaster management, search and rescue and humanitarian assistance among others.

Another article published on Kathmandu Post online reads, “Nepal and the United States will hold the 40th edition of the annual Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) Balance Nail from September 10 to 29 in Kathmandu.”

Additionally, we found an article, dated August 16 2022, published on Nepal News online which reads that the 39th edition of the joint training between Nepal Army and the US Army called Ex-Balance Nail is set to kick off.

Thus, our findings clearly indicate that the joint military training between the US and Nepal Army has been continuing for the past 40 years, and it has no connection with the MCC project.

Conclusion

The viral video claiming that Nepali Congress General Secretary Gagan Thapa has been attacked and kicked out of Kathmandu is misleading. The viral video is edited by using unrelated image and footage to create a false narrative.

Result: False

Sources
Mero Nepal Mero Kala TGS /YouTube, 11 September 2023
Kathmandu Post, December 5, 2017
Gagan Kumar Thapa /X
Annapurna Express, Sept 6, 2023
 Kathmandu Post, Sept 6, 2023
Nepal News  August 16, 2022


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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 essential today than ever before.

Sanjeeb Phuyal
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 essential today than ever before.

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