A “fake” tweet about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comments in Germany on Tuesday took the social media by storm and resulted in a complaint being filed with the police by TV news agency ANI.
In the eye of the storm was Aam Aadmi Party social media head Ankit Lal, who had tweeted a screen shot of a purported ANI post on Modi’s comments.
This is a photoshopped tweet. ANI has got nothing to do with it. Legal action will be taken against those responsible pic.twitter.com/CZcWnFJgX8
— ANI (@ANI_news) April 14, 2015
The post, which was supposed to be a quote from the PM, read: “My love for Germany goes decades back. When I was a small boy in Guj my only friend was a German Shepherd:PM #ModiInGermany.”
Smita Prakash, an editor at ANI, later tweeted: “This is a photoshopped tweet by @ankitlal. ANI did not tweet it nor did the PM say it.” According to Lal, he had not photoshopped the post but had downloaded the photo after it was tweeted by another person. “Around 12.30 pm today, a Congress supporter had tweeted a screen shot of this ANI tweet. I did not retweet this post. Instead, I downloaded the image and tweeted it some minutes later. I have posted screen shots of both these tweets now.” Lal said.
— Ankit Lal (@ankitlal) April 14, 2015
Around 1.45 pm, Lal’s tweet said, “Narendra Modi saheb, kyun desh ki izzat ko dhul-mitti kar rahe ho? Soch kar bola karo, (Mr Narendra Modi, why are you soiling the dignity of India. Think before you speak).”
Soon afterwards, Twitter world went abuzz with attacks on Lal and the AAP. “As soon as I was informed that the tweet was fake, I removed it. However, the attacks, especially by BJP supporters continued,” Lal said.
ANI approached the police on Tuesday evening, informing them of the tweet being allegedly photoshopped by unidentified persons. They sent the complaint to the Cyber Cell of the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Delhi police.
“They e-mailed us the complaint today. However, they will give us the complaint in writing tomorrow, after which appropriate action will be taken. No FIR has been registered yet,” DCP (EOW), Rajneesh Garg, said.