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HomeEnglishFact Check: Viral Video Falsely Claims Yog Raj Dhakal ‘Regal’ Killed In...

Fact Check: Viral Video Falsely Claims Yog Raj Dhakal ‘Regal’ Killed In Police Encounter

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
Nepali Congress aligned youth Yog Raj Dhakal alias ‘Regal’ killed in a police encounter in Banke district
Fact
Regal is still alive and has been appearing in media interviews after the claim went viral

At a time when the government is facing widespread condemnation for its decision to grant pardon to murder-convict Yog Raj Dhakal alias ‘Regal’, a video claiming that Regal has been killed in a police encounter in Banke district is going viral on TikTok.

On the eve of the 8th Constitution Day on September 19, President Ramchandra Paudel granted clemency to 670 convicts, including Dhakal, on the recommendation of the Cabinet. Dhakal, a local gangster from Banke affiliated to Nepali Congress, had killed Chetan Manandhar in broad daylight, assaulting him with domestic weapons in July 2015. He had been serving a jail sentence after the Banke district court in April 2018 convicted him of Manandhar’s murder.

Against this backdrop, TikTok user @killyou604 posted a video showing an image of Yog Raj Dhakal. Text superimposed on the video reads, “Breaking News. After criticism from several quarters, Nepal Police killed Regal ‘Don’ in an encounter at the directive of the Ministry of Home Affairs.  Rip.” The video is accompanied by a melancholic song about the uncertainty of life.

The video posted on October 6 has garnered 1932 likes, 60 users have shared it and 352 people have commented until the time of publishing this article. 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 looked up news reports to find the status of Dhakal. However, we didn’t find any reports about his killing in a police encounter.  During our search, we found an article, dated October 6 2023, published on Kathmandu Post online. According to the article, the Supreme Court has ordered the President’s Office and the Cabinet to furnish a written justification for the pardon granted to Dhakal.

Bharati Sherpa Manandhar, wife of Chetan Manandhar who was murdered in cold blood by Dhakal, had moved the apex court, demanding nullification of the pardon granted to Dhakal.

We, then, checked several platforms to check the status of Dhakal and found a video interview of Dhakal published on a YouTube channel named Sutra TV.  We reached out to the channel’s senior journalist Tulasi Nepal, who confirmed that Dhakal is alive and he communicated with Dhakal only this morning.   

Further, we found a video of recent interview of Dhakal by journalist Rishi Dhamala published on the YouTube channel of popular Nepali talk show Prime Times Television HD. The interview was published on October 8.

Thus, our findings clearly indicated that the viral video is misleading.

Conclusion

The viral video claiming that Yog Raj Dhakal alias ‘Regal’, who was released after the government commuted his remaining jail term, has been killed in a police encounter after the decision to pardon him drew flak from several quarters is misleading. The truth is that Dhakal is still alive and has been appearing in media interviews.

Sources
Sutra TV HD/YouTube October 6, 2023
Prime Times HD /YouTube October 8,, 2023
Kathmandu Post October 6, 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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