Shortened video circulates in misleading posts that claim politician 'threatened' West Bengal voters
A video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times in Facebook and Twitter posts that claim it shows an Indian politician “threatening mothers and sisters of West Bengal” amid ongoing elections in the state. But these posts omit important context: the video has been shortened from longer footage that shows the politician mentioning the phrase “mothers and sisters” to urge voters to support her party which promotes the safety of women.
The video was posted on Facebook on April 2, 2021.
It shows politician Koushani Mukherjee telling a crowd in the Bangla language: “Hey, are you from BJP? Everyone has mothers and sisters at home, think before you vote.”
The video’s caption claims her remarks are a threat against family members of West Bengal voters, stating: “Trinamool candidate from Krishnanagar North threatened voters. Such a threat to mothers and sisters of West Bengal despite being a woman! This is their culture. Mothers and sisters are not safe under their rule.”
The post circulated online amid ongoing legislative elections in the eastern state of West Bengal.
But these posts omit important context.
A reverse image search of the video’s keyframes extracted using InVID-WeVerify, a digital verification tool, found it corresponds to a portion of a longer video posted on Facebook on April 3, 2021.
The excluded portion shows Mukherjee mentioned the phrase “mothers and sisters” to try to convince voters that her party promotes the safety of women.
Her entire remarks in full states: “Hey, come here. Are you from the BJP? Everyone has mothers and sisters at home, think before you vote. Think about the safety of women. Mothers and sisters will not be safe in Bengal if Didi is not here.”
Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in the misleading posts (L) and the longer video (R):
Mukherjee denied she threatened voters.
Responding to the misleading posts, she said in a Facebook video on April 2, 2021: “The BJP IT cell is circulating only one sentence from what I said. What I actually said to the people to think of women safety before they vote, because if BJP comes to power in Bengal, women won't be safe here. So think before you vote, and don't fall into the BJP’s traps.”