English, Fake News

The image of a Rohingya Refugee from a BBC News story is being shared with a false narrative


A few Facebook users are posting a collage that has an image of a girl holding a child in her lap with the message-‘The girl seen in the photo is a Rohingya named Sakhra. She is 14 years old and her husband is 54 years old. Sakhra already has 2 children and if she continues to give birth to babies with the same speed, she may give birth to 20 children in her lifetime’. In the collage, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s photo was also seen with comments attributed to him- ‘We are against population control measures’. Let’s try to analyze the claims made in the post.

The archived version of the post can be seen here.

Claim: A Rohingya girl Sakhra aged 14 years has two children and Nitish Kumar is against population control measures.

Fact: The girl holding a baby in her lap was seen in a BBC video on the lives of Rohingyas. In that video, nothing about the girl was discussed. The story attributed to her in the post is a fabricated one. Nitish Kumar has made the above comments on population control in another context, but they were added to the post to suggest that he supports population growth. Hence, the claim stands FALSE. 

When searched on YouTube with the keywords “Rohingya story BBC”, the original BBC video was found and it had the title “In the jungle with Rohingya refugees feeling Myanmar – BBC News”. In this story, BBC reporter Sanjoy Majumder treks through difficult terrain where people flee Myanmar and enter Bangladesh. In the video, the girl in the image posted is seen at 2:09 and nothing about the girl was discussed by the reporter. So, the story in the post is a fabricated one. This story was found to be in circulation since 2017.

The lower photo in the collage has the statements of Nitish Kumar against population control measures. When Googled if Nitish Kumar has made any such comments, it was found that in 2016, Nitish Kumar trashed BJP Minister Giriraj Singh’s idea of nasbandi (sterilization) as a means for effective population control. Nitish outrightly rejected such a method of population control and termed the plan as non-sense. When we tried to know Nitish Kumar’s stand on population growth, it was found that in the past on many occasions, he has raised his concern over Bihar’s rate of population growth. He said that lack of education to women was the key reason for the growing population and his government will take steps to curb address the issue.

So, in the post, Nitish Kumar’s photo and his 2016 statement were included to mislead that Nitish is supporting the population growth.  Finally, the image of a Rohingya Refugee from a BBC News story is being shared with a false narrative.

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