On 18 June, lawyer Prashant Patel Umrao, in a tweet, claimed that Radhika Vemula, mother of PHD scholar Rohith Vemula who killed himself in 2016, was promised Rs 20 lakh by the Muslim League to speak against Prime Minister Narendra Modi across the country.
He also alleged that she was given a cheque of Rs 2 lakh, but that cheque was not cleared by the bank.
The tweet has garnered over 7,000 retweets and over 9,000 likes. Interestingly, news website Postcard too carried a “sensational” story on similar lines citing Patel’s tweet.
However, there seems to be little truth to the claim made by Prashant Patel Umrao.
‘Wasn’t Offered Money to Speak Against Modi’
Days after Rohith Vemula ended his life, the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) had promised Radhika Vemula a sum of Rs 20 lakh towards building a new house for her family, but not for speaking against Modi, fact check website Alt News reported.
Speaking to Alt News, Radhika Vemula’s said:
"Muslim League did not offer me any money to speak against Modi. Any amount of money cannot change what I feel about the current government." - Radhika Vemula
“We were asked to look for land or property, and told that the Muslim League would bear the costs. We checked a few plots and informed the same to them. They sent us two cheques of Rs 2.5 lakh each as token money to hold the plot of land. However, one of the cheques had a spelling error hence, was returned when we went to deposit it in the bank. I first thought that it bounced and felt deceived, however, I was wrong as this was not the case,” Radhika Vemula told Alt News.
The clarification comes after a functionary of IUML’s youth wing Kerala, CK Subair, said that the cheque was rejected due to “clerical errors”.
The issue was also raked up by Union Minister Piyush Goyal at a press conference held in New Delhi, where he slammed the opposition for playing “petty politics” and said, maybe the mother was being pressurised.
Earlier, in an article published by The News Minute on 16 June, Radhika Vemula had alleged that the IUML promised her money and then went back on their word and used the family for political gain, a claim that she has now denied.
Prashant Patel Umrao and Postcard’s History of Fake News
Senior Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai had filed an FIR against Prashant Patel Umrao for posting and attributing inflammatory ‘fake tweets’ to the veteran journalist’s name.
Earlier in 2017, Umrao had started a religious debate on Twitter saying Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) doesn’t offer food to Hindus during Ramadan.
He had also tried to malign the image of Varnika Kundu (the girl who was stalked by a BJP politician’s son in Chandigarh) by sharing her old picture and claiming she was actually friends with the accused, Vikas Barala.
Similarly, news website Postcard has been caught spreading fake news a number of times. in March, Postcard founder Mahesh Vikram Hegde was arrested by the Karnataka Police on charges of publishing a fake story about a Jain monk being attacked by a Muslim youth.
The Quint would like to thank Vineet Srivastava for bringing this story to our notice.
(With inputs from Alt News and The News Minute)
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. Read more on WebQoof by The Quint.‘Pressure Groups’ Stalled Growth in J&K: Amit Shah“IUML Promised 20 Lakhs But Didn’t Stick to Word”: Radhika Vemula . Read more on WebQoof by The Quint.