Alleged ‘fact-checker’ Mohd Zubair peddles half-truths on BJP SM Wing Head tweet on RaGa

Mohammed Zubair, co-founder of propaganda website AltNews, has once again peddled half-truths, this time about BJP Tamil Nadu’s social media wing leader, CTR Nirmal Kumar.

Nirmal Kumar had posted a tweet in which he mocked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who is undertaking ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’.

Sharing a photo of Rahul Gandhi in which he is seen with his niece, Nirmal Kumar wrote in Tamil, “Have mercy on these 10 people who go on the yatra with Pappu (reference to Rahul Gandhi) who plays with children who apply henna.

There is no mention of the word flirt or any other innuendo in Nirmal Kumar’s tweet.

However, self-proclaimed fact checker Zubair has added his own meaning to the tweet peddling that BJP SM wing leader Tamil Nadu shared an old picture of Rahul Gandhi claiming he was flirting with young children.

Due to the cyber-harassment of Mohammed Zubair, Nirmal Kumar had to take down his tweet. BJP Tamil Nadu SM Wing leader in a later tweet clarified that his intention was just a satire comparing Rahul’s maturity to that of a child.

A complaint has been filed against Zubair by a Karthikeyan Selvakumar who is the Vice Chairman of BJP Vizhupuram district of the social media wing of the party.

A self-proclaimed fact-checker’s date with half-truths and fake news

This is not the first time the so-called fact checker has peddled fake news, lies and half-truths.

Mohammed Zubair had shrewdly shared an edited clip of former BJP leader Nupur Sharma’s remarks during a televised debate which saw the issue explode with calls for ‘Sar Tan Se Juda’. Zubair had cropped the part where the Maulvi had made objectionable remarks about Siva Linga, which was why Nupur Sharma had lost his temper.

Earlier in June 2021, he peddled fake news that an elderly Muslim man from Uttar Pradesh had been attacked and his beard forcibly cut for not chanting ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Jai Shri Ram’. However, it turned out to be fake news as Ghaziabad Police clarified that there was no community angle to the incident. He issued a clarification later.

In December 2020, he peddled fake news that a woman detained under the new anti-conversion law in Uttar Pradesh had miscarried. The Moradabad district administration had branded the miscarriage reports as fake news. A report by The Hindu quoting district probation officer Rajesh Chandra Gupta noted that the woman was in full health and her pregnancy was intact.

After being called out for the fake news being peddled, Mohammad Zubair posted a tweet clarifying it as an “update”.

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Virginia C. Taylor