No, man in viral video didn't end his life to protest Telangana's free-bus-rides-for-women scheme

By: Rohith Gutta
January 18 2024

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No, man in viral video didn't end his life to protest Telangana's free-bus-rides-for-women scheme

Screenshot of the post on social media claiming that it shows an auto-rickshaw driver who died by suicide in Telangana because of the free bus ride women scheme. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The video is not of an auto-rickshaw driver from Telangana. It shows a man who worked for an Andhra Pradesh politician.

Claim ID f48a6eae

(Trigger Warning: This story contains descriptions of distressing visuals and mentions of suicide. Reader discretion is advised.) 

What is the claim?

A distressing video of a man who reportedly died by suicide was shared on X (formerly Twitter) recently with the claim that it shows “another auto-rickshaw driver” who took his life in the south Indian state of Telangana. Posts sharing the video further claim that the “sold out” media isn’t reporting on the incident.

The claim emerges from a political slugfest in the state over the new Congress government’s scheme to provide free transport for women on a certain category of buses run by the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC). Critics of this scheme have alleged that it has hurt the income of auto-rickshaw drivers in the state.

Screenshot of the social media post sharing the claim. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the claim is false. 

What did we find?

Some users pointed out in the comments that the incident is from Andhra Pradesh and not Telangana. A keyword search led us to a December 28, 2023, news report by the Telugu news channel V6 News that carried a screenshot from the video. The person in the video was identified as a personal assistant working for an Andhra Pradesh MLA ( Member of the Legislative Assembly ) from the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP). According to the report, the personal assistant died by suicide on December 27, 2023, at his house and the Andhra Pradesh police are investigating the matter. Other Telugu news websites like Telugu One and newspapers like Eenadu and Andhrajyothy corroborate these details.

While these reports gave varied reasons for the man’s decision to end his life, we learned that the police are still investigating the matter.

Logically Facts contacted the concerned police station where a case was filed in connection with the man’s death. Circle Inspector Anju Yadav confirmed that the incident took place in Andhra Pradesh and the case is under investigation. She refused to divulge further details citing the sensitive nature of the case.

While there have been protests by auto-rickshaw drivers in Telangana against the free bus ticket scheme for women in the state, there has been no such reported incident of a driver taking their life over the issue.  

The verdict

An unrelated video from Andhra Pradesh has been shared to claim that an auto-rickshaw driver in Telangana died by suicide because of the government scheme that offers free bus rides to women. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

(Editor's Note: We have refrained from using any links to the video due to the distressing nature of the visuals)

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