On Tuesday evening, Jawaharlal Nehru University students, teachers, and alumni protesting against the mob attack on their campus two days before had a surprise visitor: Deepika Padukone. Padukone was in the capital to promote her recent movie, Chhapaak.
Her visit elicited strong reactions on social media and television news. Soon after, rumours circulated on Chhapaak, which tells the real-life story of Laxmi Agarwal, who survived an acid attack by a man named Naeem Khan. The rumours claimed Chhapaak rebranded Naeem Khan as a Hindu named “Rajesh”, instead of a Muslim.
Though this was quickly debunked, a new rumour surfaced: that Chhapaak had been “redubbed” to change the Hindu name to a Muslim one. News18 Hindi published a story headlined “Deepika Padukone corrected this mistake after the protest! Claim change in ‘Chhapak’ overnight”.
This “news story” stems from a tweet by a lawyer named Ishkaran Singh Bhandari. Bhandari had previously threatened to send a legal notice to Padukone.
Newslaundry reached out to the editor of News18 Hindi. The piece will be updated if a response is received. News18 Hindi subsequently put up a “fact-check” of the “news” of the movie being redubbed.
Earlier, Swarajya had published a piece saying the character’s religion had been changed, but the story was pulled down.