In October this year, movie director and journalist Avinash Das was caught spreading a Photoshopped image which attributed a fake quote to BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra. Even after he was countered by Patra saying that it is fake, Das had refused to apologise, instead, he had tried to justify it giving a political twist. Now again he has come up with another image which attributes a fake quote to UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Today Avinash Das tweeted an image of what appears to a Hindi Newspaper, the headline of the news item in the image says ‘another irresponsible comment by Yogi Adityanath, said our job is to save cows, not women’. A totally outrageous comment, no doubt.
बोलो, इस आदमी को जूते पड़ने चाहिए या नहीं? pic.twitter.com/hFDTL8xgEE
— Avinash Das (@avinashonly) December 24, 2018
But the fact is that Yogi Adityanath never made such comment, and the news clipping posted by Das is fake, which is circulating on social media for quite some time. This fake clipping was exposed to be fake several months ago.
In April this year, website thelallantop.com had done a fact check on the image, which went viral at that time. They had found that it was actually a satire article, which was circulated as real by many people. The original article was published on satire website rhumortimes.com, which is no longer working as its domain registration has expired. The About us page of the website clearly states that it is a satire website, screenshots of which were taken by thelallantop when the satire website was available.
Other than caught spreading fake images, Avinash Das was also accused of sexual harassment and other crimes in the past. Earlier, he had worked in NDTV, Dainik Bhaskar, Prabhat Khabar and few other media organisations. He worked as output editor at NDTV for several years. According to reports, he was asked to leave the organisation because he was caught using the brand of NDTV for personal benefits.
After that Avinash Das joined as editor of DB Star, a Hindi tabloid from Dainik Bhaskar group. While working there, a female student of Journalism and Mass communication had levelled charges of sexual harassment against Das. He was a guest lecturer at the institute at the Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication in Bhopal. After the investigation by a team of the university found the allegations to be true, Avinash Das was dismissed from his job by Dainik Bhaskar.
Apart from these, a defamation case was also filed against Avinash Das by journalist Shripal Shaktawat. It was alleged that Das had posted many objectionable and false statements against Shaktawat in a blog.