English, Fake News

Claim That an Auto Driver was Allegedly Attacked Over Voting for BJP in Karnataka is False.


A viral video circulating on social media claims that an auto driver and his auto in Karnataka were physically attacked for voting for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the recent assembly elections in the state. In this fact-check article, we will examine the authenticity of this claim.

Claim: An auto driver was thrashed for voting for the BJP in the recently held assembly elections in Karnataka.

Fact: The auto driver in question is Harish Rao Gorpade, and the incident occurred in Shimoga. Initial news reports on this incident suggested that a group of strangers attacked Harish for voting for the BJP. However, Harish later clarified to the media that his friends had actually damaged his auto after a confrontation at a bar. He explicitly stated that he never claimed to have been thrashed for voting for the BJP. Therefore, the claim made in the viral post is False.

Although the incident shown in the viral video was initially reported as the auto driver being attacked for voting for the BJP, which is the claim of the viral post, we found out in our investigation that the post picks only one part of the whole incident, and there was more to it.

According to the initial news reports (here, here and here ), Harish Rao, the auto driver featured in the video, went to the Shimoga district SP office to report the damage to his auto, stating that some strangers attacked his vehicle for voting for the BJP. It was reported that K S Eshwarappa, a BJP leader present at the SP office, provided Harish with ₹20,000 in financial assistance for vehicle repair and medical expenses.

However, Harish Rao later clarified to the media that he was not assaulted for voting for the BJP. 

As the Mangalorean reported, he stated that he never claimed to have been beaten for voting for the BJP. Instead, he explained that he and his three Muslim friends had gone to a bar together, and during a fight among the friends, the auto’s top and glass were broken. Harish Rao went to the SP office to complain about the incident, which had no political motive. Harish Rao stated that his friend, Aamir, claimed the attack was politically motivated, and he distanced himself from that statement. Other news reports on the clarification given by Harish here, here and here.

To sum up, based on Harish Rao’s clarification, the actual cause of the auto damage was a dispute among friends and had no connection to politics.


About Author

Comments are closed.