Amit Shah waves magazine on Kerala deaths, but photo is from Sri Lanka

The photograph of a malnourished infant, on the cover of the July 2013 issue of Outlook, was reportedly taken in the “no firing zone” of conflict-ridden Sri Lanka in 2009.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: May 16, 2016 3:23 am
BJP, kerala, kerala polls, kerala news, kerala somalia, narendra modi, outlook magazine, outlook cover, sri lanka, attapady, amit shah, kerala election The photograph used by US State Department in its report on Sri Lanka; Amit Shah with the Outlook cover, Saturday.

A DAY after BJP president Amit Shah waved a 2013 copy of Outlook magazine with a cover story on malnutrition and infant mortality in Kerala’s tribal belt, it now appears that the photograph used on the magazine cover was not from Kerala.

Read | Kerala polls: Sri Lanka as Attapady, BJP flips a new controversy with magazine cover 

The photograph of a malnourished infant, on the cover of the July 2013 issue of Outlook, was reportedly taken in the “no firing zone” of conflict-ridden Sri Lanka in 2009. The same photograph was used by the US State Department in a report on Sri Lanka. When contacted, Outlook Editor Krishna Prasad told The Indian Express: “This is the first time this issue has been brought to our notice… As far as I remember, we did not issue any clarification or correction about the story the following week or the week after that.”

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In the cover story, the magazine gave credit to K A Ramu, an NGO worker, for the photograph. Confirming this, Prasad said the other pictures used inside were taken by the magazine’s photographer. “The cover picture was supplied by K A Ramu, a tribal associated with an NGO, who took our reporter around,” said Prasad.

But Ramu denied taking the photograph. “We had given Outlook two pictures. One had two women with babies. That was taken by me. Another had one woman holding a baby. That was not taken by me, but someone from my office in Ernakulam had sent it to Outlook,” Ramu told The Indian Express from Kerala. “In any case, I don’t remember which picture they used,” said Ramu.

The Indian Express sent the photograph — found on page 64 of the US State Department report — to Ramu on Saturday night. But Ramu did not respond despite repeated attempts to contact him.

According to the US State Department’s report, the photograph was taken in the Sri Lankan war zone in May 2009, months before the Sri Lankan government’s final battle with the LTTE.

Incidentally, the same photograph was used by the Congress in a report prepared just before the 2012 Assembly elections in Gujarat to highlight malnutrition in the state, then ruled by the Narendra Modi-led government.

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  1. A
    Abhinav Gour
    May 16, 2016 at 5:00 am
    Shame on them for bringing Politics to such Low
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    1. L
      Lalgulabi
      May 16, 2016 at 8:16 am
      Neither Modi nor BJP was ruling India since Independence. It was Congis and Commies. NDA rule from 99 to 2004 was best period for India
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      1. L
        Lalgulabi
        May 16, 2016 at 2:30 am
        UDF and LDF have made Kerala the most sick state infested with illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. They have been allowing large influx of illegal immigrants because these people are from a particular religion and if somehow inducted into voters list will form an enormous vote base. National security is threatened because of this and it is a nightmare for people from states of Kerala and Tamilnadu to travel in trains running between the states. The trains are infested with these bangladeshi roaches travelling ticket less but occupying reserved compartments causing lot of distress to natives of these 2 states who travel with proper ticket
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        1. L
          Lalgulabi
          May 16, 2016 at 4:15 am
          Yes Usam... cannot reason with people like you and k... so my BP shoots up and am forced to write such things. Who do you think is the reason for the sad state of our country?...
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          1. L
            Lalgulabi
            May 16, 2016 at 4:14 am
            Yes... I never said BJP has done anything to better the situation. All political parties are the same. Tax paying genuine common citizen is the sufferer
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