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Former MNA Bilal Virk was not injured due to police violence

Image of Virk’s accident shared with false claim

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Claim: An image shows former-MNA, Chaudhry Bilal Ahmed Virk injured in a hospital after being beaten by the police.

Fact: The claim is false as the politician had an accident a few days ago, during which he sustained an eye injury.

Fact or Fiction?

On 24 December 2023, journalist Sabir Shakir posted a since-deleted image (archive) on X (formerly Twitter) with an Urdu caption,

بلال ورک سابق ایم این اے تحریک انصاف ،پولیس تشدد کے بعد

Translated [Bilal Virk, former MNA Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf after police violence.]

The image shows a man with an injured eye in a hospital.

Screenshot of now-deleted tweet by Sabir Shakir

Soch Fact Check reverse-searched the image on Google and found a Facebook post on the page of Ch Bilal Ahmed Virk published on 8 December 2023. When translated into English from Urdu, the caption of the post reads, “After being injured in an accident last night, the doctors have done the operation on my eye. I am thankful to Allah that I am fine now. All friends and brothers are requested to remember me in their prayers.”

Later on 24 December, he posted a video on Facebook saying that the image shared on PTI’s pages and other groups is a few weeks old, adding that the images are from after an accident and that he is on the road to recovery now.

Ayesha Manzoor Wattoo, wife of Bilal Ahmed Virk and Regional Director at Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) stated that the claims circulating on social media are fake. Wattoo clarified in a post on X that her husband is fine, adding, “He had accident few weeks ago and had minor eye surgery from Hamid Lateef hospital Lahore.”

Virality

The viral claim was shared mostly by pro-PTI accounts on Facebook. The archived versions can be seen here and here.

On X, it received 24.3k views, 3.3k likes and 950 reposts. The archived versions are available here, here, and here.

Conclusion: The image showing former MNA, Bilal Ahmed Virk hospitalised with an eye injury is a few weeks old.  It does not show him sustaining injuries after being subjected to police violence.

 

 

Background image in cover photo: Adobe Stock

 

To appeal against our fact-check, please send an email to appeals@sochfactcheck.com 

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