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HomeEnglishViral Video Claiming President Has Approved Deployment of Army Personnel Is Partly...

Viral Video Claiming President Has Approved Deployment of Army Personnel Is Partly False

At a time when President Bidhya Devi Bhandari is facing criticism for refusing to authenticate the Bill to amend the Citizenship Act of Nepal within the constitutional deadline, a few videos making sensational claims linked to the President and Nepal’s army are going viral on social media. 

One such video being widely shared on Tik Tok claims that President Bhandari has given permission to deploy 75,000 army personnel after a two-hour long ‘secret meeting’ with the Army Chief. The video further claims that the President has issued a letter that has left the Prime Minister “terrified”. 

Newschecker found that the video is partly false.

President Bidya Devi Bhandari, who had earlier expressed her reservations against several provisions of the bill to amend the Citizenship Act-2006, refused to authenticate the bill for the second time within the 15-day deadline that lapsed on midnight of September 20. The President’s move has angered the alliance of ruling parties including Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist Centre), while the opposition CPN-UML have praised the president. 

The post of the president is ceremonial while the prime minister holds executive powers of the government, which is formed by the elected representatives. The president is supposed to sign off on bills and has the power to send it back for reconsideration only once. However, the president has to authenticate the bill within 15 days of receiving it after the federal Parliament resends the same bill. President Bindhya Devi’s refusal to authenticate this particular bill has split public opinion ahead of crucial elections less than two months away, with those opposing her actions, mainly the ruling parties, are calling it “political activism” on part of the President, while there many, mainly the CPN-UML, who view her actions as something done to ” protect the nation.”

Against this backdrop, TikTok user @hamroaawaj posted a video showing images of President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, Nepal Army Chief Prabhu Ram Sharma and CPN-UML leader Bam Dev Gautam. Text superimposed on the video reads, “President Bidhya Devi Bhandari made a horrific announcement after holding a two-hour long meeting with Nepal Army Chief Prabhu Ram Sharma.”  Audio accompanying the video presented in a news bulletin style says, “President Bhidhya Devi Bhandari holds a two-hour long secret meeting with Chief of Army Staff General Prabhu Ram Sharma, gives permission to mobilise 75,000 army personnel. The president accuses Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba of violating the constitution, and issues a dreadful letter.”

Screengrab from the video going viral on TikTok.

The video shared on September 27 has garnered 20.8k likes, 232 shares, and 425 users have shared until the time of writing this article.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the veracity of the claim made in the viral video, we took keyframes from the viral video and conducted a reverse search for each of the images used in the viral video. 

The first image used in the viral video is a generic shot showing President Bhandari signing a document at her office in Sheetal Niwas.

Keyframe of the first image used in the viral video.

Our search threw up several results matching the image used in the viral video. On checking a news report published in Rising Nepal Daily on July 8, we found that the president authenticated two bills pertaining to seeds and conservation. However, none of the articles using the image had anything to do with the president’s decision to deploy Nepali soldiers.

Then we conducted reverse search on the second image which is heavily edited by collating several images of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, CoAS Prabhu Ram Sharma and President Bidhya Devi Bhandari. We couldn’t find the original image.

Keyframe of the second image used in the viral video.


The third image used in the video is of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba.

Further, on conducting a reverse image search on the fourth image, we found several articles using the same image. On checking a news article published in Nepallive.com, we found that the image was of Rastriya Sabha Chairman Ganesh Prasad.

Keyframe of the fourth image used in the viral video.

Our investigation showed that the video used random images.

So, we conducted a search on google for the news regarding the president’s decision to deploy army personnel. Newschecker found several news reports about the president approving deployment of Nepal Army for the elections scheduled for November 20,2022, to the House of Representatives and Provincial Assemblies. The president issued the approval on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers, the news report says. 

A second allegation made in the video says that the President issued a letter where she has accused PM Deuba of “violating the constitution”. We looked for reports on the same and found an article published in the Kathmandu Post 

A second allegation made in the video says that the President issued a letter where she has accused PM Deuba of “violating the constitution”. We looked for reports on the same and found an article published in the Kathmandu Post 

After President Bidhya Devi refused to sign the bill within the 15-day deadline, the ruling alliance accused her of violating the constitution

Reportedly, the President in a letter sent to the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers on September 23 had counter-accused the government of violating the constitution on the issue of citizenship amendment bill. The President asked the government to abide by Article 81 of the constitution, which stipulates that the Prime Minister shall inform the President on matters relating to Resolutions (decisions) of the Council of Ministers and Bills to be introduced in the Federal Parliament.

However, we didn’t find any report of a letter issued by the president that terrifies the prime minister.

On checking for the news regarding the president’s meeting with the Chief of Army Staff, Newschecker found an article on ekantipur.com about a dinner hosted by the president for former army generals including the incumbent General Sharma. 

During the dinner meeting on August 24, the main issue of discussion was the bill to amend the Citizenship Act, the news report says. However, there are no reports of the President making any “horrific announcement” after the meeting, and the dinner gathering was not a “secret” as claimed in the viral video.

Conclusion

The claims made by the viral video claiming that the president deployed the army after a “secret meeting” is partly false. The President approved the deployment of the army for the upcoming election slated for November 20.

Result : Partly False

Sources

Radio Nepal

The Rising Nepal

The Kathmandu Post

Pahilo Post

Nepallive

If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, email us at checkthis@newschecker.co  You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form.

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 breaking news and features on Nepali politics, society, environment and current affairs. Most of his work appeared in Kathmandu Post, where he spent over ten years leading and managing the online team and putting innovative ideas into practice. Besides overseeing daily news, features and visual journalism, he’s also translated and edited content. 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 news and information has become 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 breaking news and features on Nepali politics, society, environment and current affairs. Most of his work appeared in Kathmandu Post, where he spent over ten years leading and managing the online team and putting innovative ideas into practice. Besides overseeing daily news, features and visual journalism, he’s also translated and edited content. 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 news and information has become essential today than ever before.

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