Viral Video of Rahul Gandhi Motorcade Blocking an Ambulance Proven False


Multiple posts on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube contain a video, viewed tens of thousands of times, which shows an ambulance stopped at a police blockade. The posts, shared in 2019, claim the emergency vehicle was stopped to allow the motorcade of the head of the opposition Indian National Congress party, Rahul Gandhi, to pass. The claims are false; the video was originally recorded in 2017 and shows an ambulance delayed by a motorcade while then-Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak was visiting Delhi.
The video was posted here on Facebook on May 3, 2019, and has been viewed more than 4,300 times.
The misleading Facebook post has a Hindi-language caption that says: “Delhi Police stopped an ambulance to let Rahul Gandhi’s motorcade pass. A baby girl was fighting for her life in the ambulance and in the end she died.”

Below is a screenshot of the misleading post:

The exact same video was debunked last month by AFP when it was circulated online alongside claims that the ambulance had been stopped for a motorcade belonging to a politician with India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

The video actually shows an incident where an ambulance was blocked by police in central Delhi in April 2017.

A journalist in AFP’s Delhi bureau analysed the 1:37 video and translated part of the audio.

The person filming can be heard saying in Hindi: “They are not letting an ambulance pass because of VIP culture. There is a child bleeding inside the ambulance. Would you guys allow an ambulance to pass or are the politicians the priority, not the patient?”

A police officer then says: “Please wait, wait for a few minutes.”

People standing around the ambulance can be heard shouting: “Let this ambulance go.”

The person recording the video can then says: “Who would be responsible if the child dies?”

A reverse image search on Google using keyframes from the video obtained using digital verification tool InVid returned this news article published on April 5, 2017.

The report, part of which is shown below, says the ambulance is forced to wait while the convoy of Malaysia’s visiting Prime Minister goes by.


The prominent newspaper also reported on the incident in an article published on April 5, 2017.

Both the news article published on the incident cited an April 1, 2017, live stream video of the incident from the Facebook account of a user named Preet Narula.

Below is Narula’s original April 1, 2017 live stream video, which has been viewed some 1.3 million times:

The video in the misleading posts is the same as Narula’s original live stream, though Narula’s video includes an additional 21 seconds of footage at the end.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in the misleading Facebook posts (L) and Narula’s video (R):

amb (1)

Both videos feature a yellow blockade with the words “Delhi Police” written in red. Below is a screenshot of the blockade:


To confirm the location of the videos, AFP compared Narula’s Facebook live video with Google Street View images of the area.

Below is a screenshot of Narula’s video (L) and this Google user’s image tagged at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium on Google Street View (R) with the stadium circled in red:


This press release published by the Indian government on March 2017 announced Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak would visit India from March 30 to April 4, 2017.

Razak tweeted this selfie with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi from his official Twitter account on April 1, 2017.

When the same video was being circulated last month, Delhi traffic police official Sandeep Shahi told AFP: “According to official protocol, the only motorcades for which police close roads are those belonging to India’s president, prime minister, and those of foreign heads of state visiting India.”

“When their convoys pass the designated routes, only then is the traffic halted. It is not applicable for MPs,” he said, referring to Indian members of parliament.

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