By: Rohith Gutta
December 19 2023
Screenshot of the viral post claiming people in Andhra Pradesh assaulted a Telugu Desam Party leader. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)
The man seen in the viral clip from 2021 is D. Chinna Rao, a Visakhapatnam resident who operates the 'Chinna Rao Welfare Trust.'
What is the claim?
A 39-second video circulating on X shows a group of people assaulting and yelling at an individual. This footage was purportedly linked to Poorna Chowdary, identified as the Mylavaram Convenor for the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), with allegations of him committing a minor's rape. An archived version of the post can be accessed here.
The TDP is the principal opposition party in Andhra Pradesh, a southern Indian state. Mylavaram is an Assembly constituency in the NTR District of Andhra Pradesh.
Screenshot of the claim viral on social media (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)
However, contrary to the claim, the individual in the video is neither Chowdary nor a TDP leader.
What did we find?
Observing that the individuals in the video are masked, we inferred that the footage is not recent and could be from when COVID-19 precautions were mandated.
We conducted a reverse image search using keyframes from the video, leading us to news reports featuring the same video or related images.
BBC Telugu, in a report dated December 7, 2021, included screen grabs from the viral video. According to this report, the man seen in the clip is D. Chinna Rao, a Visakhapatnam resident in Andhra Pradesh, who operates the 'Chinna Rao Welfare Trust.' This trust visits primary schools to distribute educational materials. Rao faced allegations of misconduct from a girl, leading to her parents confronting, assaulting, and subsequently handing him over to Malkapuram police in Visakhapatnam.
Similarly, a report by the Andhrajyothy Telugu Daily from December 7, 2021, featuring visuals from the video, confirms that Rao, who hails from Ambedkar Colony in Malakpuram, Visakhapatnam, was attacked by parents for inappropriate behavior with their children.
Further reports by The Hindu and Times of India corroborate these details.
While the viral post alleges the individual in the video is Chowdary, it is evident that the person is Rao from Visakhapatnam district. No news reports point to Rao's political affiliations either.
Upon contacting Malkapuram police for clarification on his political connections, Circle Inspector G. Demudu Babu stated to Logically Facts that Rao has no ties with the TDP or YSRCP (the ruling party in Andhra Pradesh). Rao, who managed the trust, was arrested under the POCSO Act, with the case currently in court.
An unrelated video from 2021 was shared to claim that people in Andhra Pradesh assaulted a TDP leader. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.