English, Fake News

A fictional story linked with an old unrelated photo shared as retired Colonel’s suicide in Lucknow


An image of dead bodies of an elderly couple placed on the pyre is being widely shared on social media claiming that the man was a retired colonel residing in Lucknow and he shot himself as his sons were unconcerned with parents’ lives. Let’s fact check the claim made in the post.

Claim:  Photo of a retired colonel from Lucknow who shot himself in distress as one of his sons couldn’t even attend the last rites of his mother.

Fact: This photo does not show any retired colonel from Lucknow who shot himself in distress. The same story has been going viral with different images over the last few years. There are no news reports of the suicide of a retired Colonel for the reasons mentioned. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.

Had there been a suicide of a retired Colonel, the media would have covered it widely. So, we searched for national and local news reports regarding this incident in English and Hindi languages but couldn’t find any. We then ran a reverse image search of the viral photo and found that the same photo has been viral since 2018 with different stories. One such post from 2018 can be seen here. The accompanying description says, “Porsa’s Panditji died yesterday evening. When he was being taken for funeral this morning, his wife also sacrificed her life”. We found that Porsa is a town in Morena district of Madhya Pradesh.

Also, the same story as in the viral post has been shared at least since 2019 with various other images. Some of them can be seen here and here

Though we couldn’t independently verify the identities of the deceased couple shown in the viral photo, a report by AajTak states that the couple seen in the viral pic was Chhotelal Sharma (90) and his wife Gangadevi (87) of Puranakhedi, Madhya Pradesh. Chhotelal was a farmer and not a Colonel. The couple had 4 sons and 6 daughters. When Chhotelal died at around 4 am on 03 september 2018, his wife couldn’t bear the shock and died the same evening. Both were cremated on the same pyre.

To sum it up, a fictional story linked with an old unrelated photo is being shared as a retired Colonel’s suicide in Lucknow.


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