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Fake Twitter page sharing videos, pics of Bangladesh Durga Puja attacks

  • Published at 10:05 pm October 15th, 2021
Fake Twitter page
Screenshot of the fake Twitter page

Alongside Twitter users, leading Indian media outlets-- Times Now, Scroll.in, India Today, ThePrint and OpIndia-- also cited the tweets put out by the fake page

Amid reports of vandalism and clashes centring on “insults to religious sentiment” during the Durga Puja celebrations in Bangladesh, photos and videos of the violence are being circulated by a fake Twitter page, according to Indian fact-finding platform Newschecker.

Headquartered in Delhi, the platform on Thursday reported that alongside Twitter users, leading Indian media outlets-- Times Now, Scroll.in, India Today, ThePrint and OpIndia-- also cited the tweets put out by the twitter page.

The account (@UnityCouncilBD) claims to be the official twitter page of the Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council or the bhbcop.org, in its bio.

The page gained prominence in the hours following the vandalism of the Durga Puja pandal in Comilla, with several prominent people retweeting the videos and images that it shared with sharply worded captions, some even provocative.

Also Read - Violence in Noakhali: 1 killed, 18 injured

The cover image of the page also shows leaders of various faiths, including the Pope, among Hindu, Buddhist and Islamic leaders. The page also carries a verified badge (the blue tick), further lending to its authenticity. 

It is also followed by senior leaders who support the BJP, including Arun Yadav (state in-charge for BJP Haryana IT department), Shefali Vaidya, author and columnist, psephologist and political commentator Pradeep Bhandari, Suresh Chavhanke of Sudarshan news and R Jagannathan of Swarajya among others.

Newschecker found the contact information of the office bearers of the organization through its Facebook page. Speaking to Newschecker, Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council General Secretary Rana Das Gupta denied that the page represented them. A similar message was also put up by the Council on their Facebook page on July 16, 2021.

Also Read - Durga Puja venue attacked in Chittagong

Advocate Deepankar Ghosh, the organizing secretary of the Council’s central committee, said: “We do not have any Twitter page. The page in reference does not belong to us. We have contacted our local authorities regarding the matter and have filed a legal complaint.”

The council’s IT expert Suvra Dev Kumar further confirmed to Newschecker that the organization only has digital presence on three platforms - a website, a Facebook page and a news portal - and that the Twitter page did not belong to them.

“We have sent a letter to the telecommunication regulatory authority and the Home Ministry of Bangladesh to take down the twitter page” Kumar added.   

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