At a time when the border dispute at Kalapani region on the western frontier of Nepal has become a bone of contention between Nepal and India, videos alleging that Nepal-India relations have hit rock bottom are going viral among Nepali social media users. Newschecker found at least two such videos making fabricated and unsubstantiated claims. One of the videos on TikTok claims that cross-border movement of people at the Nepal-India border has been banned by Nepal, while the other claims that Nepal has declared India as an enemy state.
TikTok user deepshrestha125 posted a video, which shows images of border fence, Nepali security personnel and Nepal’s Prime Minister attending an anniversary programme of Nepali security personnel and a protest in India against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party Bharatiya Janata Party. Text superimposed on the video reads, “Cross border movement between Nepal and India to be halted from tonight.” Audio clip accompanying the video says, “Issuing threat to Nepal, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said there is no power that can shake India. Nepal adopted the strategy to stand up against India.”
The video posted on January 28 is spreading fast, garnering 87.6k likes until the time of publishing this article, while 1728 people have shared the video and 644 users commented on the post.
Another user maheshyadav11110 posted a video, on January 27, depicting visuals of street demonstrations in Nepal. Text on the video read, “Nepal declared India as an enemy nation. Nepal’s dreadful letter has reached Narendra Modi.” Audio accompanying the video is heard saying, “For the first time, Nepal declared India as an enemy state.”
The video has been liked 5452 times, shared 88 times and 140 people have commented, indicating that the video is spreading fast among Nepali social media users.
Fact Check /Verification
To check the authenticity of the claims made in the videos, Newschecker began with a Google search for keywords ‘cross-border movement’, ‘Nepal-India’, ‘Nepal-India border’. But the search did not throw up any news reports or announcements by the authorities of either the Nepal or India government regarding the ban or halt in cross-border movement.
Nepal and India share 1800-km long porous borders and people from either country are crossing each other’s borders from various entry points complying with the curbs put in place in view of the COVID-19.
Further, we looked for the original source of the video used in the viral video, which is presented in the format of a news bulletin. Newschecker conducted a keyword search for ‘halt on movement’ in Nepali on YouTube which led us to a video posted by the channel ‘Your Nepali’. On analysing the video, we found the portion of the video from the 0.19-minute timestamp identical to the viral video.
The video uploaded on the YouTube channel on January 24 uses irrelevant images, including from an anniversary function of Nepal’s armed police force attended by Prime Minister Deuba, and shots of Indian people staging a protest with an effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The video also uses visuals of a border fence from the India-Bangladesh frontier and the audio doesn’t attribute the proper source for the claim.
We conclude that the claim was made up.
To check the veracity of the second video, we conducted a keyword search for ‘Nepal’s letter in Modi’s hand’ in Nepali, and came across a video similar to the viral video, posted on the Youtube channel of ‘Greater Nepal TV’, known for peddling fake and unsubstantiated claims. We found a portion of the YouTube video from 0.30 minute identical to the viral video.
The YouTube video, which was presented in a bulletin format, further said, “Unnat Loktantrik Party led by Swagat Nepal has written a letter to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The party attributed by the video for writing the letter is a lesser known group and the letter is inconsequential. We found the video to be fabricated and the claim unsubstantiated, as is often done by Greater Nepal TV.
The video also contained footage from protest demonstrations in Kathmandu which are also unrelated to the claims made in the video.
Videos claiming that the cross-border movement of people between Nepal and India have been halted and Nepal declared India as an enemy state are fabricated and taken from the YouTube channel known for posting sensational contents without proper attribution.