Saturday, June 22, 2024
Saturday, June 22, 2024

HomeEnglishFact Check: No, CPN-UML Cadres Are Not Protesting Against The Seizure Of...

Fact Check: No, CPN-UML Cadres Are Not Protesting Against The Seizure Of Gold In The Viral Video

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
Cadres of CPN-UML youth wing stage demonstration against the recent arrest of gold smugglers and corrupt individuals
Fact
Viral video actually shows old footage of UML cadres venting ire at Prachanda and Madhav Nepal and recent clip from the protest demanding action against gold smugglers

A video allegedly showing the cadres of Communist Party of Nepal – Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) youth wing Youth Association staging a protest against the recent arrest of gold which passed undetected through airport customs and the government’s move to take action against corruption, is going viral on TikTok.

The video went viral in the wake of a seizure of a huge quantity of gold that slipped through the Tribhuvan International Airport customs on July 18. The Department of Revenue Investigation recovered 100 kg gold from Sinamangal area in Kathmandu. The precious metal was hidden in the brake shoes of motorbikes after it had passed the TIA customs office. Police have arrested 10 individuals including a Chinese national and an Indian of Tibetan origin in connection with the gold smuggling case, while three TIA customs employees have been suspended.  However, it remains a mystery as to who owns the gold and where it was destined.

Against this backdrop, TikTok user @ray_0f_hope posted a video showing cadres of CPN-UML youth wing staging a protest wearing monkey masks. The protesters can be heard chanting slogans demanding the resignation of the Prime Minister. The video caption reads, “The youth wing of CPN-UML Youth Association have staged a protest against the government allegedly for taking action against corrupt individuals and gold smugglers. It is time for the people to chase away the CPN-UML who are demanding that they should be allowed to be involved in corruption. The country will hollow out as long as this party and the termites like them exist.” Text superimposed on the video reads, “Even the same if feeling ashamed of the CPN-UML and its youth wing. Is it wrong to arrest the corrupt and gold smugglers? Is it the government’s fault if the corrupt and smugglers were found to be from the CPN-UML?”

The audio accompanying the video presented in a live reporting style says, “This scene is from Kathmandu where a torch rally has been organised demanding the resignation of the Prime Minister. The police have intervened. We are showing this reporting of the protest linked with the recent gold smuggling case. This is an exclusive report. The demonstrators are holding torches in their hands and heading towards the parliament building.” However, the audio and the visuals do not match.

The video also shows another footage of Youth Association cadres holding an image of Prime Minister and Chairman of CPN (Maoist Centre) Pushpa Kamal Dahal. We can also see Youth Association cadres demanding resignation of what they call the ‘incompetent government and home minister’, and chanting slogans against the government and Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’. We can also notice a small pamphlet featuring an image of torch rally on the screen and the text on it reads, “Torch rally against one quintal gold scandal. Protest against the arrest of gold. National Youth Association.”

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

The video posted on July 23 has garnered 3054 likes, 66 users have shared it and 110 people have commented on it.

Newschecker investigation found the claim to be misleading.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the veracity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker observed the 1.46-minute video closely and spotted three different footages used in it. So we split the video into several keyframes and conducted reverse searches on them. But the searches didn’t reveal any relevant results.

Then, taking a clue that the UML youth were wearing monkey masks, we conducted a search on YouTube by using relevant keywords and found an article, dated July 20, 2021, published on the Himalayan Times online. The article was about the protest staged by the supporters of CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli against leaders Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal when the duo supported Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba to form a new government after their fallout with Oli.

So, we conducted a search on YouTube by using hints from the news article and found a video published on a YouTube channel named Godhuli online Television whose frames matched the viral video. The video dated 20 July, 2021, closely resembled the viral video in which the UML youth cadres are seen wearing monkey masks and preparing to organise a rally.

Further, we noticed the logo of Sunaulo Nepal TV on the top right corner of a footage showing a UML cadre chanting anti-government slogans. We conducted a search on YouTube by using the clues from the footage and found a video whose frame from the 11.20-minute timestamp exactly matched the second clip of the viral video. The original video dated July 21, 2023, showed the CPN-UML youths chanting slogans against the government demanding action against the gold smugglers.

As we also noticed the logo of Live News on the third part of the viral video, we searched on YouTube by using the relevant keywords and found a video, dated 21 July 2023, whose audio from the beginning resembled the audio used in the viral video. On checking the video thoroughly, we found that the video showed the live reporting of the torch rally organised by the members of UML youth wing, Youth Association Nepal in Kathmandu on Friday. We also found a clip of an interview with a UML cadre from a 2.15-minute timestamp whose frames and audio exactly matched the viral video. The video actually showed the protest by UML youths demanding action against the gold smugglers. Saying that those arrested with the gold is only carriers, the UML protestors accused the government of trying to protect the mastermind of the gold smugglers.

Our findings clearly showed that the viral video was created by using different footage of CPN-UML cadres staging protest in July 2021 against Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal after the duo defected the party and the recent footage from the rally organised by the CPN-UML demanding action against the gold smugglers.

Conclusion

The viral video is edited by combining unrelated footage to make a misleading claim that the CPN-UML have protested against the arrest of gold smugglers and corrupt politicians.

Result: Edited video

Sources
The Himalayan Times, 21 July, 2021
Godhuli Online TV /YouTube, 20 July, 2021
Sunaulo Nepal TV /YouTube ,21 July, 2023
Live News /YouTube,21 July, 2023
The Kathmandu Post, 21 July, 2023


If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, email us at checkthis@newschecker.co  You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form.

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
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.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular