Fact Check: Liquor bottles for flood victims in Thailand linked to Bihar polls

1 month ago 7

With elections round the corner in Bihar, social media is witnessing hectic political activity and campaigning. Amid this, a picture of several packets of liquor bottles is circulating on Facebook and Twitter with the claim that this how the BJP-JD(U) alliance is preparing to woo voters. Bihar has imposed prohibition on alcohol since 2016.

The caption in Hindi along with the picture translates to, "In Bihar, this is another poll preparation by the BJP and JD(U). Remember people, this is both poison and devastation, and so you must stay away from it."

India Today Anti Fake News War Room (AFWA) has found that the claim along with the image is misleading. The viral picture is at least a year old and from Thailand.

Similar claims have been shared on Facebook as can seen here and here. The archived versions can be seen here, here and here.

AFWA probe

Using reverse image search, we found the same picture carried by several Thai websites in 2019.

According to these websites, the liquor kits were sponsored by a man named Johnny for people affected by floods in Thailand's Ubon Ratchathani province in 2019.

"No one understands the mind of an alcoholic. During floods, they'll have to remain stuck without alcohol. Johnny understood their mind and provided a survival kit to all alcoholics," says one of the articles in Thai.

The articles have also carried pictures of Johnny handing over the liquor bottles and other relief materials to people.

We also found a Facebook post by Johnny carried by many of these articles. Taking this as a cue, we searched further and found the viral image posted by Johnny on his Facebook profile on September 22, 2019.

The user also posted an image of him handing over a similar kit to a person on a flooded road.

We also found an article from September 17, 2019, where Johnny is appealing for volunteers to help him transport relief materials from his farm to flood victims.

The images of Johnny distributing liquor and other flood relief materials were also shared in a YouTube video uploaded on September 25, 2019. The liquor seen in the visuals is Hong Thong, a Thai beverage prepared at Bangyikhan Distillery near Bangkok.

Northern Thailand witnessed severe floods in September 2019 and the worst affected was Ubon Ratchathani province. More than 20,000 people were evacuated and over 33 died due to the floods, said an "Al Jazeera" report published on September 16, 2019.

The viral image was carried by many social media handles and websites in India in April this year. A Russian website had also carried the same image about five months back.

Therefore, it is clear that the viral picture of liquor bags is old and not related to the Bihar elections. But it is true that ahead of polls, authorities have seized lakhs of litres of liquor, guns and drugs in Bihar.

ClaimPicture shows liquor bottles to be distributed among voters by BJP and JD(U) in Bihar. ConclusionThe picture is over a year old and from Thailand. The liquor bottles were distributed to flood victims by a man.

JHOOTH BOLE KAUVA KAATE

The number of crows determines the intensity of the lie.

1 Crow: Half True2 Crows: Mostly lies3 Crows: Absolutely false

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