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FACT CHECK: Was Modi’s plogging exercise at beach staged?

FACT CHECK: Was Modi’s plogging exercise at beach staged?

CLAIM

Sending across a strong message to the nation about the importance of keeping surroundings clean, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had shared a video of him picking up trash on a beach in Tamil Nadu’s Mamallapuram on October 11.

Posting a video on his twitter handle Modi wrote: “Plogging at a beach in Mamallapuram this morning. It lasted for over 30 minutes.
Also handed over my ‘collection’ to Jeyaraj, who is a part of the hotel staff.
Let us ensure our public places are clean and tidy!
Let us also ensure we remain fit and healthy.”

Soon after the video went viral and made headlines, many social media users including Congress MP from Tamil Nadu’s Sivaganga and former Union Minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram, shared old, unrelated photos, one showing a crew shooting on a beach and another showing a bomb squad scanning an area on a beach, along with the photos of PM Modi plogging on the beach, to imply that the entire exercise was staged.

Fact Check

Times of India after thorough verification found that the image showing a crew shooting on a beach was clicked in 2012 and has nothing to do with Modi plogging on a beach in Mamallapuram. During verification, Times Fact Check came to know that the image is a crew shot for a TV production at St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland, UK.

As for the other image showing a bomb squad scanning an area on a beach, it was found that the picture was published in The Hindu on April 11, 2019 with a caption “High vigil: Bomb squad inspecting Kozhikode beach, the venue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public event, on Wednesday.” Thus it was proved that the photo is from April this year and from Kerala’s Kozhikode and has nothing to do with Modi plogging on a beach in Tamil Nadu.

VERDICT

Times Fact Check concluded that old, unrelated images are being shared along with photos of PM Modi plogging on a beach in Mamallapuram to imply that the entire exercise was staged.

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