Morning News Call - India, September 16

Good morning, India. This was one of our most read stories yesterday: Journalist Rana Ayyub took to Facebook and Twitter to call out a fake tweet on late former President Pranab Mukherjee, that is being falsely attributed to her on social media. #FakeNews

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Journalist Rana Ayyub took to Facebook and Twitter on Tuesday to call out a fake tweet on late former President Pranab Mukherjee, that is being falsely attributed to her on social media.

The screenshot, which purports to show a tweet by Ayyub, includes a picture of Mukherjee, who passed away on Monday, and has text which claims, "the man who rejected martyr Afzal Gurus petition is dead. Afzal Guru is at peace today."

Mohammed Afzal Guru was convicted for the 2001 Indian Parliament attack and later awarded the death sentence and hanged to death in 2013. (Read more about it here)

BOOM found a number of Facebook posts and tweets sharing the same fake screenshot with the false claim that Rana Ayyub had deleted the screenshot after being called out.

Since the viral screenshot showed 276 comments or replies below the supposed tweet made on August 31, 2020 (the date the former President passed away); we used a string to search for replies to a deleted tweet but found none from the day. (to:RanaAyyub) until:2020-08-31

BOOM also found the original tweet from which the fake tweet was created. A comparison below show how the reactions on the original tweet and viral screenshot are nearly identical.

Former President and Bharat Ratna awardee Pranab Mukherjee passed away on Monday at the age of 84. The veteran politician was admitted to Delhis Army Research and Referral hospital for a surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain in mid-August. He also tested positive for COVID-19 while being hospitalised. Mukherjee who was deeply comatose over the past few weeks deteriorated on August 31, after a lung infection caused him to go into a septic shock.

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