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Solicitor General Tushar Mehta quotes false WhatsApp forward in Supreme Court

On May 28, the Supreme Court heard the Suo Moto case regarding the plight of migrant labourers stranded in different parts of the country due to the lockdown. During the hearing, Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta presented the steps that the government had taken so far to tackle the issue. He argued that the Centre is doing a lot but there are “Prophets of Doom” who spread negativity.

The SG then went on to narrate the story of the vulture and the child photographed by Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Kevin Carter during the famine in Sudan… It turns out that the story narrated by the Solicitor General was doing the rounds on WhatsApp among supporters of Prime Minister Modi since at least a week before. In an attempt to silence any criticism of the government, the message draws parallels with Kevin Carter’s story and compares those highlighting the misery of the migrant workers to vultures.

It is shocking that Solicitor General of India quoted word to word from a viral WhatsApp message in the top court of the country. … Based on a WhatsApp forward, the Solicitor General blamed Carter for the child’s death and claimed that during a conversation with another journalist he was called a vulture. There is no record of any such conversation and moreover, Carter had chased away the bird when he shot the photograph and the child had survived.

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