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Fact Check: RSP Chair Lamichhane Hit Out At Kathmandu Mayor Balen Shah? Here’s What We Found

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
Rastriya Swatantra Party Chairman Rabi Lamichhane criticises Kathmandu Mayor Balendra Shah
Fact
Viral Video actually shows Rabi Lamichhane telling the parliament not to get agitated over a remark made by an Indian writer

A nine-second video purportedly showing Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) Chairman Rabi Lamichhane hitting out at Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) Mayor Balendra Shah is going viral on TikTok. 

TikTok user @kulbahaduroli shared the video which showed a clip of Rastriya Swatantra Party Chairman and former Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane speaking from a Dias. An image of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City’s Mayor Balendra Shah is also super-imposed on the video.

In the footage, RSP Chairman Lamichhane says, “Just because a worthless Indian writer said something against us doesn’t mean that we need to count on that person.” 

Text superimposed on the video reads, “An unstable person like Rabi [RSP Chairman Lamichhane] has started speaking against Balen [KMC Mayor Balendra Shah.] See who has come to build the nation.” 

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

The video posted on June 24 has garnered 12.3k likes, 148 users have shared it and 1276 people have commented on it.

Newschecker’s investigation found the claim to be misleading. 

Fact Check /Verification

To check the authenticity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker split the video into several keyframes and conducted reverse searches on them. But the results didn’t match the viral video.

We then conducted a search on google by using the exact Nepali words Lamichhane can be heard speaking. We were led to a report in Khabarcentre.com published on 23 June, 2023, which quoted the RSP Chairman Lamichhane saying that Nepal shouldn’t bother about a comment made by an ignorant Indian writer.  According to the article, Lamichhane was referring to a recent remark made by Indian film writer Manoj Sukla Muntashir, where the writer said that “Nepal was a part of India before 1903.” Manoj Muntashir, who wrote dialogue for controversial movie Adipurush, has been criticised in Nepal for his remark in a television interview.  

In a conversation with Aaj Tak Television, writer Muntashir said, “When Sita was said to be India’s daughter, Nepal was a part of India. It was in the year 1903 or 04, that Nepal was separated from India. Earlier, Nepal was a part of India. In this sense, Nepal was very much India and Sita was the daughter of India. I don’t understand why Nepalis are protesting.”

Prior to the interview, KMC Mayor Balendra Shah had banned the screening of Adipurush in the city without having removed a dialogue suggesting that ‘Sita was daughter of India’.

But nowhere in the article did we find Rabi Lamichhane criticising or speaking against Kathmandu Mayor Balendra Shah.

Further, we conducted a search on YouTube by using relevant keywords and found a video whose frame and audio exactly matched the viral clip. On watching the video published on the YouTube Channel named Kazivlog, we saw that Lamichhane was speaking at the parliament on a range of issues. “Just because an ignorant Indian writer spoke something wrong about us, we don’t need to count on him. Nepal’s sovereignty, and integrity are inscribed in the history with golden letters, and we are proud of our sovereignty and geographical integrity,” Lamichhane is heard saying. He goes on to speak about the issue of money laundering. However, Lamichhane didn’t utter a single word against KMC Mayor Balendra Shah as claimed by the viral video.

Rather we found some short videos on YouTube where Lamichhane praises the work of KMC Mayor Balen Shah.

Conclusion

The viral clip purporting to show RSP Chairman Rabi Lamichhane lashing out at KMC Mayor Balendra Shah is misleading. The footage actually shows the former Home Minister’s speech in which he hits out at Indian writer Manoj Sukla for saying that Nepal was a part of India until it separated in 1903 or 04.  

Result: False

Sources
Khabarcentre.com, 23 June, 2023
Kazivlog/YouTube, 24 June, 2023
Aajtak Television/YouTube, 17 June, 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
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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