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HomeEnglishSupporters of Rabi Lamichhane Gathered At Maitighar? No, Viral Video Shows 2019...

Supporters of Rabi Lamichhane Gathered At Maitighar? No, Viral Video Shows 2019 Rally Against Guthi Bill

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.

A video allegedly showing the supporters of Rastriya Swatantra Party President Rabi Lamichhane gathered at Maitighar in Kathmandu after Lamichhane lost his Cabinet post of Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister. Newschecker found the claim to be false.

Lamichhane’s party pulled out of the government on February 6 following a controversy over his citizenship.  Earlier on January 27, Lamichhane was forced to resign as deputy prime minister and home minister after the Supreme declared his Nepali citizenship invalid. Lamichhane reacquired his citizenship and party presidency two days after the apex court verdict. But he couldn’t get back his Cabinet portfolio after Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda insisted on waiting for a final verdict by the Supreme Court.

In this context, TikTok user @deepakkandel110 posted a video showing a huge mass of people gathered at Maitighar Mandal in Kathmandu. Text superimposed on the video reads, “Supporters of Rabi Lamichhane gathered at Maitighar today. Let all the Nepali people share it once.”

Screengrab from the viral video.

The video posted on January 29 has garnered 18.8k likes, and 735 users have shared it until the time of publishing this article.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the veracity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker searched for news of rally or assembly by the supporters of Rabi Lamichhane. However, we didn’t find any news of such a gathering by the supporters of Lamichhane.

Then, we took a keyframe from the viral video and conducted a reverse image search which threw up several results matching the frame from the viral video. The top search results showed articles of the protest assembly of June 2019 when the people of Kathmandu Valley had assembled at Maitighar in Kathmandu against the proposed Guthi Bill. This pointed us towards the mass gathering against the Guthi Bill. 

Screengrab showing the results of reverse search on a keyframe from the viral video.

On checking an article carrying the image published in Onlinekhabar.com, we found that the article was about Guthi Bill protest organised at Maitighar Mandala in Kathmandu in June 2019. On comparing the image carried by the article and the frame from the viral video, we found that the black banners used at the protest rally were almost identical.

This collage shows a comparison of an image (left) carried by onlinekhabar article and a frame from the viral video (right).

Further, we conducted a search on YouTube using keyword ‘mass gathering against Guthi Bill’ and found a video published on the YouTube channel named Voice of Newa whose frame from 1.56-minute onwards closely matched the viral video.

Our findings clearly indicated that the viral video is from the mass gathering organised by Kathmandu Valley dwellers back in June 2019 against the controversial Guthi Bill.

The objective of the proposed legislation was to regulate Nepal’s Guthis, centuries-old community trusts that take care of cultural sites and temples, by a powerful central government authority. The Guthi Bill met with stern opposition from the Valley’s Newar community who traditionally look after the trusts, turning into the largest mass movement after the second Jana Andolan of 2006.

Conclusion

The viral video purporting to show the mass gathering by the supporters of Rabi Lamichhane actually shows the protest in Maitighar, Kathmandu against the Guthi Bill.  

Result: False

Sources
Onlinekhabar.com, June 19 2019
Voice of Newa /YouTube , June 19 2019 


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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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