Video from Maharashtra shared as Tamil Nadu man chopping off his finger for voting for Congress

By: Rahul Adhikari
August 30 2023

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Video from Maharashtra shared as Tamil Nadu man chopping off his finger for voting for Congress


The Verdict False

A video of a man from Maharashtra chopping off his finger to protest police inaction in his brother’s suicide case was peddled with false claims.

Claim ID 88c8fcce
(Editor's Note: This story was published on August 30, 2023, and is being republished from Logically Facts' archives in the light of the video recirculating with a claim that it shows a man chopping his fingers for voting for Congress in Karnataka.)

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

What is the claim?

A video has been circulating on social media claiming that a man from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu chopped off his finger for voting for Congress, the largest opposition party in the South Asian nation. The viral video shows a middle-aged man cutting off his index finger with a sharp object. 

Several users shared the video claiming that the man cut off his finger as he had voted for the Congress with it. The caption of one such post on X (formerly Twitter), written in Hindi, read, "A person in Tamil Nadu *cuts off his finger* He voted for Congress with that finger. *And* By not voting for Modi government *made a big mistake*.” An archived version of the post can be found here.

The posts as seen on X. (Source: X/Altered by Logically Facts)

The video was widely shared on Facebook as well.

The posts, as seen on Facebook. (Source: Facebook/Altered by Logically Facts)

However, the claim is false. The man in question had cut off his finger to protest against police inaction in his brother’s suicide case, and the incident has nothing to do with the Congress.

What are the facts?

After chopping off his finger, the man in the video says in Marathi, “See this, this is part of my body I’m giving you as a gift, Modi government. See this, do you feel good? Take this Modi government. Take this: every day, every week, I’ll keep giving you a part of my body.” 

Our research showed that the incident took place in Phaltan, Maharashtra. According to a Hindustan Times (HT) report, published on August 19, which carried a screengrab of the viral video,  43-year-old Dhananjay Nanavare chopped off his finger to bring attention to alleged police inaction in his brother’s suicide case. 

What had happened?

According to HT, Nanavare’s brother and the latter’s wife died by suicide on August 1 in Ulhasnagar in Maharashtra. The couple left a video message and a note naming the people who allegedly drove them to kill themselves. After their death, a case of abetment to suicide against eight people was registered at Vitthalwadi police station. The accused had since sought anticipatory bail, HT reported.

The report also said that after Nanavare chopped off his finger, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde instructed doctors at Ruby Hall Clinic in Pune to treat him and carry out reconstructive surgery on his hand.

A screenshot of the Hindustan Times report on the incident. (Source: Hindustan Times) 

Why did Nanavare make the video?

Explaining why he cut off his finger on camera, in an interview with ABP Majha, Nanavare said, “My family is not getting justice. My brother and sister-in-law have died by suicide... However, the police are saying they can't find any evidence. My brother and sister-in-law made a video in which they clearly mentioned names and gave proof. The video includes the names of (political) leaders and their subordinates. Is this why information is being suppressed? Senior officials are saying that they haven't had the time to conduct an investigation because of 4-5 holidays. This is why I made the decision to seek justice for myself and my brother.”

On August 19, Deccan Herald reported that four people were arrested after Nanavare chopped off his finger on camera to protest alleged police inaction. 

Did Nanavare mention any grievance against Congress?

In a longer version of the viral video, available on Facebook, Nanavare explains the matter in detail and added, “Moreover, a minister from the Modi Sarkar is implicated in this issue, leading to efforts to suppress the truth. Will we receive justice or not? And Mr. Fadnavis, what are you doing? If this is happening in your state, how is it even possible?... Despite this, the government is not willing to pay attention…” He was most likely referring to India’s union government run by  Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi (BJP). Mr. Fadnavis is a possible reference to BJP leader and Maharashtra’s Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. 

Nanavare further said, “With this finger, I had cast my vote for the BJP government. I am now offering this finger as a gift to the city police station and the Modi government, signifying that our situation has reached this point.” 

While he does mention BJP as he aired his grievance against the government for the alleged lack of police action in his brother’s death case, he made no mention of the Congress. 

The verdict

The viral claim that a man cut off his finger for voting for Congress with that finger is false. A man from Maharashtra chopped off his finger to protest police’s inaction in his brother’s suicide case and also criticized the BJP government for the same. Therefore, we mark the claim false.

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