Amit Shah fake video on quota scrapping goes viral; Delhi Police file FIR

In keeping with the trend of fake videos surfacing every other day during this general election season in India, now a new doctored video has gone viral — it shows Union Home Minister Amit Shah advocating the abolition of class and caste quotas. Following a complaint by the ministry, a First Information Report has been filed.

Amit Shah poll campaign
BJP leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah (centre) campaigns in Uttar Pradesh on April 28. Photo courtesy: X/ @AmitShah

Shah is the third very high-profile personality to be featured in a fake video in recent days. Bollywood superstars Aamir Khan and Ranveer Singh have both been victims of AI-generated deepfake videos, in which they were seen to be making political statements for or against a political party. Both have clarified that they made no such statements.

As the Union Ministry of Home Affairs sought action on the person(s) who circulated the fake Amit Shah video, Delhi Police registered a First Information Report (FIR) yesterday.

Reportedly, in the video, Shah is seen speaking in favour of scrapping reservation quotas for Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), to which Shah belongs, alleged that the video was doctored by the Congress, the top Opposition party, in order to distort what the home minister had said at a political rally.

Media reports quoted BJP spokesperson Amit Malviya as saying, “Congress is spreading an edited video which is completely fake and has the potential to cause large-scale violence. Home Minister Amit Shah spoke about removing the unconstitutional reservation given to Muslims, on the basis of religion, after reducing the share of SCs/STs and OBCs. This fake video has been posted by several Congress spokespersons. They must be prepared for legal consequences.”

The video was widely shared, including on official accounts linked with the Congress. The Home Ministry complaint to the police has identified all or most of the accounts that shared the video, giving links and handles for the purpose of police investigation.

Now the case is reportedly in the hands of the Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) Unit of the Delhi Police Special Cell.