A screenshot of a purported news article published by ‘The German Times’ is being shared on social media claiming that Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwat Mann was deplaned from Lufthansa’s Frankfort-Delhi flight for being in an inebriated condition. This post claims that Bhagwat Mann was deplaned from the aircraft for being drunk at the Frankfurt airport and alleges that the Lufthansa flight was delayed by over four hours as the luggage of the CM’s entourage which was loaded onto the plane had to be removed. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.
The archived version of the post can be seen here.
Claim: ‘The German Times’ article reported the news of Punjab CM Bhagwat Mann’s deplaning from Lufthansa’s Frankfort-Delhi flight for being drunk.
Fact: The purported news clipping is a satirical article created by a satire and meme creator named ‘@BeingBHK’. Bhagwat Mann did reschedule his return journey to Delhi at the last minute at the Frankfurt airport on 18 September 2022. While the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders stated Bhagwat Mann being unwell as the reason for the rescheduling, a few anonymous eyewitnesses reportedly told certain media houses that a person resembling Bhagwat Mann was made to disembark from the Lufthansa’s aircraft. Lufthansa through a tweet stated that the delayed inbound flight and an aircraft change are the reasons for the delay of their Frankfurt-Delhi flight. Though we could not ascertain the exact reasons for Bhagwat Mann’s rescheduling of this return from Germany, it can be confirmed that the news clipping shared in the post is a satire and was not published by ‘The German Times’. Hence, the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.
When we searched to check whether ‘The German Times’ had published any such news article, we could not find any such article on the official website of ‘The German Times’. On observing the purported new clipping carefully, one could see a description below Bhagwat Mann’s photo stating, “This article for satire @BeingBHK”. On searching for further sources, we found a Twitter handle with the same username (@BeingBHK), describing itself as a meme, cartoon, and satire creator in the bio section. ‘@BeingBHK’ had shared this news clipping on his Twitter handle too.
When we searched for further details, we found out that the news clipping was created referring word by word to an article published by the ‘Indian Narrative’ website. The ‘Indian Narrative’ article reported that Bhagwat Mann was deplaned from a Delhi-bound Lufthansa flight at the Frankfurt airport. An Indian co-passenger on the same flight reportedly told ‘The Indian Narrative’ that, “Bhagwat Mann was not steady on his feet as he had imbibed excessive alcohol and had to be supported by his wife and security personnel accompanying him”.
Speaking about these allegations to ‘The Hindu’, Chander Suta Dogra, the AAP’s director of media communication, said: “Mr. Mann was a little unwell and he would catch a flight later tonight from Frankfurt and would be back”. However, an eyewitness who boarded the same flight told ‘The Hindu’: “A person donning a white kurta-pyjama and resembling Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann entered the aircraft along with other passengers… after some time four or five of them left the aircraft”.
Responding to the queries regarding the deplaning of Bhagwat Mann, Lufthansa through a tweet stated, “Our flight from Frankfurt to Delhi departed later than originally planned due to a delayed inbound flight and an aircraft change. Best regards”. Lufthansa did not issue any statement confirming Bhagwat Mann being in an inebriated condition. Sharing a screenshot of Lufthansa’s tweet, Malvinder Singh Kang, the Chief Spokesperson of AAP Punjab, ridiculed the allegations of Mann being drunk.
However, the Union Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia ordered a probe and sought a detailed report on the alleged deplaning of Bhagwat Mann at the Frankfurt airport. Though we could not ascertain the exact reasons for Bhagwat Mann rescheduling his return trip from Germany, it can be confirmed that the news clipping shared in the post is a satirical article.
To sum it up, this purported ‘The German Times’ news clipping reporting the deplaning of Bhagwat Mann for being drunk at the Frankfurt airport is a satirical one.