Journalist turned filmmaker Avinash Das on Sunday was caught spreading edited image of Pratik Sinha, founder of propaganda outlet Alt News, insinuating that he has had hair transplant done for bettering his marriage prospects. He also said that he must use his new look photo with hair on his head to get better his prospects of finding his significant other.
Das also said he would do the ‘naagin dance’ on Sinha’s wedding. He was referring to an ad published in paper Hindustan which promised bald men that their therapy would help them grow hair back on their head and thereby help them find a bride to get married.
However, the image was edited and the ‘after’ image of man with hair on his head is not that of Alt News co-founder Pratik Sinha.
The actual image is of an advertisement in news paper Hindustan from its Patna edition for paper published on 17th November 2021. The image was shared by activist Ankur Singh on Twitter.
Still a better front page ad than watching Kejriwal everyday. pic.twitter.com/9BNCajgt7h— Ankur Singh (@iAnkurSingh) November 20, 2021
As one can see, the ‘before’ image of man with hair is of a different man and not Sinha. The man in original advertisement already has some hair on his head.
Avinash Das, sexual harassment and history of fake news
Avinash Das is the Director of Swara Bhaskar starrer film Anarkali of Arrah and has been embroiled in controversy over allegations of sexual harassment. 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.
Other than that, he also has a history of sharing fake news and misleading images. In October 2018, 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. After that, he again tweeted a photoshopped image of a Hindi news clipping attributing fake quote to UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.