Fact Check: Woman Winning Award in Viral Video is Not Hyderabad Rape Victim

News18.com

Even as the country debated the four men accused of the November 27 Hyderabad rape case were revealed to have been killed in an overnight encounter by Telangana police.

The video, which shows a woman entrepreneur receiving an award has been circulating on Twitter under the false claim that the woman was indeed the 26-year-old veterinarian whose charred remains were found in Shadnagar on November 28, a day after she went missing.

The gruesome rape and murder caused nationwide anger and mass media coverage for days on end has put the spotlight once again on the practice of revealing a victim/survivor's identity despite laws banning the practice.

Despite laws, the video was shared with captions that translate to, "The death of Divya Reddy in the Hyderabad case is not only an end of a doctor, but a government awarded vet scientist and researcher has been sacrificed for lust. This is an incredible harm to the world."

However, even preliminary fact-checking could reveal further discrepancies and confirm the news to be fake. Firstly, Divya Reddy was not the victim's name.

Secondly, the victim was 26-years-old. According to previous reports, Allola Divya Reddy, the woman entrepreneur in the video, is 35-years-old.

Moreover, the video is available on YouTube where it has been shared by a page called "Klimom", an organisation that produces high quality cow milk products. She has won a National Gopal Ratna Award in 2018 and the page contains more videos of the woman giving interviews and accepting awards. The video in circulation as in fact shot during an event to commemorate World Milk Day.

A search of the organisation's Twitter feed revealed that the milk producer had recently won the Rythu Nestham 2019 award which was presented to her by Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu and Governor of Telangana state, Ms.Tamilisai Soundararajan.

In the meantime, revealing the identity of a victim or survivor of sexual violence or crime is illegal, even if victim/survivor's kin has given specific permission to do so.

This is not the only time such a mix up has happened. Afterthe four men accused of the crime were arrested, their images with fake names started doing the rounds. While only one of the accused was a Muslim, the fake posts tried to spread communal hate by renaming the accused.