An image of what looks like a newspaper clipping is being shared on social media claiming that Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi was arrested in Boston Airport on charges of drugs possession and carrying unaccountable cash in 2001. This purported newspaper clipping with the title “India Politician Arrested” was claimed to be published on 30 September 2001. The newspaper text states, “An Indian politician was detained at Boston airport when the airport security found him in possession of banned drugs and unaccounted cash. As per our sources, he is the son of a former Indian Prime Minister. He was later released after the intervention of the Indian ambassador to the U.S. reports AFP”. This post claim that Rahul Gandhi was released only after the intervention of the then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.
Claim: Screenshot of an old newspaper clip reporting Rahul Gandhi’s arrest in Boston Airport.
Fact: The newspaper clip shared in the post was created using the newspaper clipping generator website ‘fodey.com’. It is not a real clipping. In September 2001, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was detained for “about an hour” in Boston Airport as part of the security precautions in the aftermath of ‘9/11’ terrorist attack in the U.S. The Boston Airport authority had not detained Rahul Gandhi on the charges of drug possession. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE
When we searched to check whether the ‘AFP’ news agency had reported any such news about an Indian politician’s arrest in the Boston Airport, we could not find any such news report on the AFP’s archives. But it is found that the AFP had published a fact-check article regarding this newspaper clip titled, “Indian Politician Arrested”. AFP clarified that the newspaper clipping reporting Rahul Gandhi’s arrest in Boston Airport was created using an online website, ‘fodey.com’.
‘fodey.com’ is an online newspaper clipping generator website that enables users to create newspaper clippings with their own headlines and story. ‘FACTLY’ was able to re-create a similar newspaper clipping using the ‘fodey.com’.
When we searched for more details regarding this claim made in the post, we found out that Rahul Gandhi was temporarily detained at Boston Logan International Airport in September 2001. Reporting this information, ‘The Hindu’ had published an article on 30 September 2001. According to the details provided in the article, FBI officials had detained Rahul Gandhi for ‘about an hour’ in Boston Airport, as part of the security measures taken in the aftermath of the ‘9/11’ terrorist attacks in the United States. Rahul Gandhi was immediately released after a general interrogation. The Boston Airport Authority had not detained Rahul Gandhi on the charges of drugs possession or carrying unaccountable cash.
To sum it up, this newspaper clipping reporting Rahul Gandhi’s arrest in Boston Airport is digitally created, not real.