West Bengal Police ProbeManipulated Videoof Congress Leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

West Bengal Police investigate a manipulated video clip showing Congress' Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury allegedly supporting BJP over TMC. The police have registered a case, including charges of criminal defamation, and are tracing the video's IP address to identify its source.

author-image
Dil Bar Irshad
New Update
West Bengal Police ProbeManipulated Videoof Congress Leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

West Bengal Police ProbeManipulated Videoof Congress Leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

The West Bengal Police have initiated an investigation into a manipulated video clip that purportedly shows Congress' West Bengal president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury encouraging voters to support the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the ongoing 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The police's cyber team discovered that a section of the video was cropped and circulated, possibly to gain a political edge during the electoral contest.

Why this matters: This incident highlights the growing concern of disinformation and manipulated content on social media platforms, which can significantly influence public opinion and electoral outcomes. This incident highlights the growing concern of disinformation and manipulated content on social media platforms, which can significantly influence public opinion and electoral outcomes. With the 2024 Lok Sabha elections intensifying, it is vital to address this issue to ensure a fair and transparent democratic process.

A separate case has been registered by the police at Jangipur police station, which includes charges of criminal defamation under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 499 and 500, in addition to Section 66D of the Information Technology (IT) Act 2000. Authorities are currently working to identify the source of thevideoby tracing its IP address.

The controversy emerged on Monday when the ruling Trinamool Congress shared the video on its social media handle. In the clip, Chowdhury, the Baharampur MP, can be heard saying in Bengali,"It is better to vote for the BJP than to vote for the TMC (Trinamool Congress)"during a public gathering in his Lok Sabha constituency. The TMC accused Chowdhury of being the 'B-team' of the BJP in the state.

The Congress party has vehemently denounced the incident, expressing appreciation to the Chief Electoral Officer's office and the Election Commission for swiftly addressing their complaint and launching a comprehensive investigation. Chowdhury himself posted "SATYAMEV JAYATE" (truth triumphs) on X (formerly Twitter), conveying his belief that the truth will surely prevail.

In an official statement, the state Congress said, "We especially thank the Election Commission for understanding the magnitude of this case and thus taking immediate action. We have complete faith in the Constitution of India and we know that we will get the desired justice as we always follow the path of truth."

This incident highlights the escalating concern surrounding the dissemination of manipulated videos and disinformation on social media platforms, especially during election periods. The 2024 Lok Sabha elections intensifying, with the BJP aiming to broaden its influence in West Bengal and the TMC striving to retain its stronghold, such controversies are expected to escalate.

The Election Commission has been implementing proactive measures to combat the threat of fake news and manipulated content. It has established a dedicated social media monitoring cell to detect and take action against such cases. Additionally, the commission has been collaborating closely with social media platforms to ensure a fair and transparent election process.

The probe into the manipulated video of Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury unfolds, the actions that will be taken by the authorities remain to be seen. The incident serves as a jarring illustration of the challenges posed by the rapid proliferation of disinformation in the digital era and the necessity for political parties, media, social media platforms, and citizens to exercise vigilance and responsibility in their online interactions.

Key Takeaways

  • West Bengal Police investigate manipulated video of Congress' Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.
  • Video appears to show Chowdhury urging voters to support BJP over TMC.
  • Police cyber team finds video was cropped and circulated to gain political edge.
  • Case registered for criminal defamation and IT Act violations.
  • Election Commission takes measures to combat fake news and manipulated content.