Old, unrelated news of BJP leader’s Naxal connection falsely linked to Bijapur attack

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A deadly Maoist attack in Bijapur, Chhattisgarh on April 2 left 22 soldiers martyred and 31 injured. In the backdrop of this, Chhattisgarh Youth Congress tweeted two newspaper clippings and wrote, “It is now evident who are urban Naxals… See BJP’s real nationalism.”

The first clipping is a report on the Bijapur Maoist attack. It claims that two people including a BJP member were arrested for Naxal connections. The report states, “It has been found that BJP leader Jagat Prakash, vice president from Dantewada district and son of former BJP MLA Dhaniram Pujari, has Naxal connections. He and one other accused have been arrested for supplying tractor to Naxalites.”

“Naxalites’ urban connection busted… BJP district vice president was supplying goods to Naxals for 10 years,” is the headline of the other report.

Twitter user Ajitesh Bansal shared the first clipping and wrote, “Pulwama attack happened before Lok Sabha election… Galwan attack took place before the Bihar elections… And now this happened in Chhattisgarh during elections.”

Several Facebook users also shared the clipping.

Fact-check

The image of soldiers carrying a coffin is captioned, ‘भारत न्यूज़ नेटवर्क’. We searched for the e-paper and found the news on epaper.enavabharat.com published on April 5, 2020. The front page of this e-paper carries the news with the same layout as the viral clipping. But the original does not report that a BJP leader was booked for Naxal connection. The report is on the recent Bijapur attack. The sub-heading in the original report reads, “2,059 jawans were looking for Hidma.” Maoist leader Madvi Hidma has emerged as the mastermind of the massacre of 22 security personnel.

The collage below shows the parts that have been morphed.

As far as the other clipping is concerned, BJP leader and vice president of Dantewada district was indeed arrested for his involvement with Naxalites however, the news is from last year. According to a report by Dainik Jagran published on June 14, 2020, BJP leader Jagat Prakash was found supplying a tractor to Naxalites. Jagat Prakash is the son of former BJP MLA from Chitrakot, Dhaniram Pujari.

ANI had quoted Abhishek Pallav, SP Dantewada, stating that the police had recovered the newly-bought tractor.

Two people, including a BJP leader, were not arrested from Chhattisgarh in relation to the recent Maoist attack in Bijapur. The arrest happened last year when BJP leader Jagat Prakash was found supplying a tractor to Naxalites.

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