This doctored image does not show Amit Shah campaigning in Kolkata’s red-light district
A photo shared repeatedly in multiple Facebook posts purports to show India's Home Minister Amit Shah campaigning in Kolkata's red light district. The posts were shared during elections in the east Indian state of West Bengal. The claim is false: the photo has been digitally altered to include an incorrect address. Shah shared the original image in a tweet, in which said he was campaigning in a different locality.
The post’s Hindi-language caption translates to English as: “Indian home minister wandering in the streets of Sonagachi during the campaigning.”
A poster in the bottom left-hand corner of the photo reads: “Room number 13, Savita Rani, Sonagachi.”
Elections were held in the east Indian state of West Bengal in April 2021. The polls saw Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party seeking to end a decade of rule by the state's firebrand leader Mamata Banerjee. AFP reported on the elections here.
The claim, however, is false. The photo of Shah has been digitally altered.
A reverse image search found the original photo published here on Shah's official Twitter account on April 9, 2021.
“Few more from Bhabanipur’s door to door campaign. #BJP200PlusInBengal,” reads the tweet.
Below is a screenshot comparison of the altered photo (L) and the photo in Shah’s tweet (R):
The district of Bhowanipore, which reads as Bhabanipur, is approximately six miles from Sonagachi, according to Google Maps.