A video claiming to show people chasing away Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, the former deputy prime minister, has been making the rounds on social media platforms. Rayamajhi has been absconding after Kathmandu District Court issued an arrest warrant in connection to a fake Bhutanese refugee scam. On May 10, Nepal Police arrested former home minister Bal Krishna Khand, the most powerful person to have been arrested as part of the investigation into fake refugee scam. Racketeers in cahoots with government officials swindled millions of rupees from victims who were promised a visa to the US as Bhutanese refugees. Twelve people, including a government secretary, a security advisor to a former home minister, several middlemen, and Rayamajhi’s son, Sandeep, have already been arrested in the scam.
In the viral video, angry men and women can be seen shouting slogan as they walk on a dirt road where cars are parked. Some women are heard saying, “We are ready to die” and “We have sent you wearing vermilion.” Towards the end of the video, a man says, “It’s a good thing for a minister to say, but it’s not a good thing to say the army will be mobilized.”
The video, shared by Facebook page Fresh Media, has garnered over 400,000 views and is accompanied by a misleading caption that says, “People of Bhairahawa chase Top Bahadur Rayamajhi away in the farm.” Fresh Media, which also has a YouTube channel, has 14,000 Facebook followers.
A two-year-old video
Nepal Check conducted a Google search using the keywords “Locals chased Minister Top Bahadur Rayamajhi” and found a news about the incident published on March 26, 2021 on news site Thaha Khabar. According to the news report, Rayamajhi, who was the Minister of Energy at the time, had visited a transmission line site in Udayapur district to resolve a dispute when locals protested against him. The report said that due to the protest, security personnel surrounded Rayamajhi and escorted him to a safe location in the municipality. Chaukosh Online’s YouTube channel also posted the video.
The viral video in question, which claims to show locals chasing away Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, is actually two years old and unrelated to the recent fake Bhutanese refugee scam involving Rayamajhi and other government officials. The video, originally published in March 2021, captures a different incident where Rayamajhi, then Minister of Energy, visited a transmission line site and faced protests from locals. Therefore, the video’s caption and its connection with the refugee scam case are misleading.
|Claim||Claimed by||Nepal Check Verdict|
|Video shows people in Bhairahawa chasing away former minister Top Bahadur Rayamajhi.||Social media users.||Misleading|
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