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Fact Check: Viral Video Falsely Claims Sports Minister Biraj Bhakta Said He Will Ensure Justice To Cricketer Lamichhane

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
Newly appointed Sports Minister Biraj Bhakta Shrestha said he will first get justice for Sandeep Lamichhane.
Fact
Minister Shrestha said he will first try to end politics in Nepali sports. 

A video claiming that newly appointed Minister for Youth and Sports Biraj Bhakta Shrestha allegedly said that he will try to ensure justice to former national cricket team captain Sandeep Lamichhane is going viral on TikTok.

Shrestha, who is the deputy leader of parliament for Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP), was appointed as the Minister for Youth and Sports on March 6 after Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal formed a new coalition government including RSP by dissolving the old Cabinet.

Earlier this year on January 10, the Kathmandu District Court sentenced Cricketer Lamichhane to eight years in jail for allegedly raping an 18-year-old woman. He has lodged an appeal against the verdict at Patan High Court.

Against this backdrop, TikTok user @aayushxtree106 posted a video showing an image of Minister Biraj Bhakata Shrestha against a background depicting cricketer Lamichhane. Text superimposed on the video reads, “Heartfelt thank you honourable Minister. Sports Minister Biraj Bhakta Shrestha has said that the first thing he will do is provide justice to Sandeep Lamichhane.” 

The video posted on March 8 has garnered 19.7k likes, 52 users have shared it and 602 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 first searched for the news related to the alleged remarks made by Minister Shrestha by using relevant keywords. However, the search didn’t yield any results matching the claim made in the viral video.

We, then, ran a search on YouTube by using keywords such as ‘Minister Biraj Bhaka Shrestha, Minister for Youth and Sports’ and found a video, dated March 7, 2024, published on a YouTube channel named ‘Neplays TV’.  On checking the video, we found that the video showed the newly appointed Minister assuming his office and speaking to the press. In the video, Secretary at the Ministry of Youth and Sports Rabilal Pantha reads out the first decision of Minister Shrestha. “In order to connect the sportspersons with the playground, boost their morale, and to keep national dignity high through sports, and to make the national level sports professional to implement an action plan with event calendar in a coordinated manner, the Honourable Minister has made the decision to issue directive to the National Sports Council according to Sports Development Act 2077 BS,” Secretary Pantha said.   Sports Minister Shrestha said, “People from outside the field area playing (alluding to the increasing politics in the sports). We will try and stop this and increase professionalism in sports.”   

Further, we checked the social media pages of the new Sports Minister but didn’t find him speaking in support of Sandeep Lamichhane.

Further, Newschecker reached out to Shiva Prasad Regmi, spokesperson at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, who said that Minister Shrestha has not officially spoken anything about Sandeep Lamichhane.

Thus, our findings clearly showed that Sports Minister Biraj Bhakta Shrestha has not assured to provide justice for Sandeep Lamichhane.

Conclusion

No, Minister Biraj Bhakta Shrestha has not said that his first task will be to provide justice to rape-convict cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane. The viral video is misleading.

Result:  False

Sources
Nplays TV/YouTube, March 7, 2024
The Nepal Weekly, March 12, 2024
Direct contact with spokesperson at Ministry of Sports


If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044 or 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.

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