Video from 2023 Karnataka state polls falsely linked to Indian national elections

By: Umme Kulsum
April 27 2024

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Video from 2023 Karnataka state polls falsely linked to Indian national elections

Screenshot of posts falsely linking the video showing a man destroying the EVM to ongoing Lok Sabha elections. (Source: X/@MeghUpdates/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The viral clip is from May 10, 2023, and was filmed during the Karnataka state elections.

Claim ID e2cb0784

What’s the claim

Amid the ongoing Indian general elections, CCTV footage of a vandalism incident in a polling booth has gone viral on social media alluding to it being recent. In the video, a man can be seen signing a register in the booth and then suddenly grabbing the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) and throwing it to the ground. Others present in the room, including the polling officers and police, immediately rush in to prevent him causing additional harm.

An X (formerly Twitter) user, Megh Updates, known for spreading unverified claims and misinformation online shared the video with the caption, “Presiding officers and security teams should be careful and alert...they can do anything due to the fear of defeat.” The post, which linked the incident to the ongoing election, had over one million views at the time of writing this story. Archived versions of such posts can be found here and here.

Screenshot of claims made online. (Source: X/@MeghUpdates/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the video is old and unrelated to the ongoing 2024 Indian general elections.

What we found

Through a reverse image search using keyframes from the viral video, we found that it was published on YouTube by CNN-News18 (archived here) on May 12, 2023. The video description indicated that it was filmed in Karnataka's Mysore district during state elections.

We also found video reports by local Kannada news channels, Vijayavani (archive here ) and Sakshi TV (archive here), which had published the same video in May 2023 on their official YouTube channels.

A report by The Hindu, published in May last year stated that the incident was recorded at a polling booth in Hootagalli in the Chamundeshwari Assembly constituency in Mysore during polling. The man guilty of damaging the EVM control unit was suspected to be mentally unsound and was identified as Shivamurthy.

According to the report, Deputy Commissioner of Police Muthuraj stated that a case under Section 84 of the IPC, pertaining to unsoundness of mind was registered, resulting in the man's release on bail for the non-cognisable offense. Deputy Commissioner of Mysore K.V. Rajendra also mentioned that an inquiry was being done into the matter, with police awaiting a medical report on the man's mental condition to determine further action, the report added.

Election Commission issues clarification
The Election Commission of India also took to X (archive here) on April 27 to address the viral video, saying that claims linking it to the ongoing election showed “mischievous intent.” It is an old video from the 2023 Karnataka Assembly election, the poll body clarified.

The Chief Electoral Officer of Karnataka also debunked the claim on X (archive here), calling it unrelated to the Lok Sabha election.

The verdict

This video is unrelated to the ongoing Lok Sabha election. It was recorded at a polling booth in the Chamundeshwari Assembly constituency in Mysore, during the 2023 Karnataka Assembly elections. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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