As the investigation into the rape chargers against suspended Nepali cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane continues, many unconfirmed videos linked with the star cricketer are being shared online. One such video claims that the interview clip of Lamichhane proves that the Prime Minister himself was involved in framing the cricketer. Newschecker found that the viral clip is shared out of context.
The Kathmandu District Court (KDC) on Wednesday extended the judicial remand of Lamichhane by four more days. This is the third time Lamichhane’s remand was extended since his arrest on October 6.
Lamichhane was suspended by the Cricket Association of Nepal on September 8 after an arrest warrant was issued against him over an alleged rape case. A 17-year-old girl in the presence of her guardian lodged a rape complaint against Lamichhane at Gaushala Police Circle in Kathmandu. Lamichhane, who was in the West Indies to participate in CPL 2022 when the case was lodged against him, pulled out of the tournament and announced that he would turn himself in to the police.
According to Nepal’s Criminal Code 2017, anyone having sexual intercourse with a woman without her consent or, in the case of a woman below eighteen years of age even with her consent, shall be deemed to have committed rape.
In this context, TikTok user @subodhsah195 posted a video, showing an interview clip of Sandeep Lamichhane in which he is heard saying, “The Prime Minister said Sandeep has shone, right. But when will the other players shine? They are giving the same performance, and have worked equally hard. When will the situation be created so that every one of them shine? I may sound bad for asking this question, and I am sorry for that.” Text superimposed on the video reads, “It has become certain after listening to this [Sandeep speaking] that the Prime Minister has directed to frame Sandeep.”
The video posted on October 7 has garnered 15.7k likes, 214 users have shared it, and 166 people have commented until the last count.
Fact Check /Verification
To check the authenticity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker closely observed the viral footage and saw renowned Nepali personality Rupesh Shrestha. This gave us the clue that the interview clip is from the popular talk show called Fireside broadcast every Monday in Kantipur Television channel by Journalist Rupesh Shrestha. Taking it as a clue, we conducted a search on YouTube using keywords ‘Sandeep Lamichhane Fireside’ which threw up several results with Lamichhane’s Interview by Journalist Shrestha in Kantipur Television’s flagship program fireside.
We checked the interview published on the YouTube Channel of Kantipur HD TV on February 22, 2021, and found that the frame from the 47.37-minute timestamp exactly matched the viral video. On listening to the interview, we found that the words of Lamichhane exactly matched the viral video. We also understood the context that Lamichhane was referring to the poor conditions of other Nepali players though the then Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli praised his achievement in cricket.
Taking an example of Sandeep Lamichhane, then PM KP Sharma Oli, who is also the Chairman of Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML), had said that Nepali were capable of doing anything if they were given the opportunities. But Nepali Congress leader Sher Bahadur Deuba has become the prime minister since July 2021.
The claim that Prime Minister conspired to frame Lamichhane is false and the viral video clip is an old interview of the rape accused cricketer from a popular talk show broadcast by Kantipur TV in February 2021.