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Viral Videos Claiming To Show Arson Attacks During Recent Nationwide Strike In Nepal Are False

The nationwide general strike enforced by four communist parties including Communist Party of Nepal led by Netra Bikram Chand, a former Maoist leader, had partial effect in different places across the country on Tuesday. The Chand-led party announced the strike demanding the withdrawal of legal cases lodged against its cadres as per the three-point agreement signed earlier in March 2021. Against this backdrop, several videos purporting to show arson attacks during the general strike are going viral on TikTok. Newschecker found two such unrelated videos that falsely claim to show Tuesday’s arson attacks.

TikTok users @deependrakunwaredition6 posted a video, showing visuals of a parked passenger bus going up in flames, with the text “Government ensures a free environment for the people to earn their livelihood” superimposed on it. The video also contained a screengrab of a comment by a user that read, “Why would they have to torch a vehicle to enforce their strike? Sadly, the vehicle was the only source of earning for many people.”

Screengrab claiming to show an arson attack during Tuesday’s nationwide general strike.

The video posted has garnered 13.6k likes, 47 shares and 94 people have commented on it.

Another user @SanoKhabar posted a video showing several images of vehicles purportedly set on fire. The audio and the text superimposed on it reads, “Strike enforcers torched a vehicle early in the morning in Dang district. A tipper bearing a registration number plate (Ra 1 Kha 1694) bound for Lamahi Ghorahi was torched near the Babai River bridge.”

Screengrab claiming to show a tipper truck that was allegedly set on fire by strike enforces.

The video posted on August 23 has garnered 1531 likes, 24 shares and 15 people have commented on it.

Fact Check /Verification

Newschecker checked the authenticity of the videos one-by-one.

Video 1

Newschecker conducted a search on YouTube using Nepali keyword ‘bus caught on fire’ and found a short video posted on the channel of Arjun Rokka Magar on May 15, 2022 that matched the viral video. A translation of the title of the video, in Nepali, read, “Bus caught on fire in Chitwan Khairahani Jimire-1.”  

We further looked up the video on Facebook using the same keywords and found the same video posted by one Sujan Sherpa on the same date. “Bus caught on fire in Chitwan Khairahani Jimire-1,” read the caption of the video. 

This screenshot shows the video posted by Sujan Sherpa on his Facebook post.

We also checked for news reports of arson attacks in Dang but could not find any such report forcing us to conclude that  the video was old and unrelated to the present strike.

Video 2

To check the veracity of the claim made in the second viral video, we split the video into several keyframes and conducted Google reverse image searches on each keyframe. 

The reverse image search of the first image took us to a news report carrying an image that matched the image seen in the viral video. The report, published in News Register in July 2015, revealed that the incident took place in McMinnville, Oregon, US, where a hay truck caught fire.

Then, we conducted a reverse search for the second image and found an article, carrying the image of a torched vehicle, published in AsiaNews. The article, dated July, 2015, reported on the violent demonstration in Bangladesh, in which protestors torched a vehicle.

Further, we conducted another reverse image search on the third image and found a news report carrying the same image. The news report dated February 2022 was published in Port Lincoln Times based in South Australia.  The report was about the Country Fire Service response to a fire on a shipping container on the Eyre Highway near Kimba.

Conclusion

The video purporting to show the arson attacks during Tuesday’s general strike enforced by Chand-led Maoist party are old and unrelated. The videos carried images from different incidents of fire from Nepal’s Chitwan, Bangladesh, Australia and the US.

Result: False

Sources

Facebook

YouTube

Newsregister

Asia News

Port Lincon Fire


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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