Man seen falling in a viral clip is indeed Maoist chief Dahal
South Asia Check / December 31, 2021
A viral video clip taken from behind shows a group of people descending a mountain trail. One of them slips and falls and others try to help him. Social media users on TikTok, Twitter and Facebook have claimed that the man is Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, the chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre). The video clip also shows a helicopter waiting for the people.
On December 29, a Twitter user named @Kiranjoshi235 posted the video clip with this caption: “Prachanda has slipped. Please share your few words.” As of December 31, the post has been retweeted 35 times and quote tweeted 24 times. Another Twitter user named @329shankar also shared the post. The viral video clip was shared by TikTok user @tembagrg1 on December 28. This post has received more than 15,000 responses and has been viewed more than 300,000 times.
We have fact-checked the video clip to determine whether the claim is true.
On November 11, Ganga Dahal, personal secretary to Prachanda, shared a series of photos of an event in a mountainous region on her Facebook page. She had claimed the photos showed various functions in Dolpa district in northwestern Nepal. On November 10, on her Facebook page, she posted photos of Prachanda and other Maoist politicians attending an event. Her caption reads: “Chairman Prachanda, Finance Minister Janardan Sharma, Maoist’s Karnali Province in-charge Shakti Basnet attended a function in Dolpa in which the chairperson of Dolpo Buddha Rural Municipality and ward chairs all of whom were elected on CPN-UML ticket, joined CPN Maoist Centre. (We) visited various parts of Dolpa and met with people.”
A few Nepali-language news websites have also published news about the event. To fact-check the video, we repeatedly watched the viral clip to identify the people in it. We compared the frames of the clip with the photos shared by Ganga Dahal on her Facebook. From their clothing and appearance, we found at least three people accompanying Prachanda in the photos were the same people seen in the video. While the viral clip shows Prachanda’s back before the fall, after verifying photos of people accompanying the Maoist chief, we concluded that it was indeed Prachanda who had slipped along the treacherous trail of Dolpa.
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