No, people did not chant “Chowkidar Chor Hai” when PM Modi visited West Bengal

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A 50-second video of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee walking with their security detail is going viral on social media. PM Modi visited West Bengal after Cyclone Amphan devastated the state, to conduct an aerial survey of the damage it caused.

As they leave the building, the crowds on the ground can be heard chanting “Chowkidar Chor Hai” (The guard is the thief), a slogan popularised by the Indian National Congress during the 2019 election campaign.

Claim 1: “Crowds shouting at Modi “Chowkidar chor hai”…Meaning ‘the watchman is a thief’.”

Claim 2: “ज़बरदस्त स्वागत हुआ कल west बंगाल मे..”

Translation: A great welcome in West Bengal yesterday.



The video was posted by a page called Saa News, with the caption, “#Bengal #visit #Chowkidar chor hai”




Another widely shared video was posted by user Anjali Singh Lkw.




User Praecursator’s tweet was viewed by over 1,500 times.






We used video verification tool, InVid to verify the origins of the video. This video was first posted on the internet on May 22, 2020, which verifies that it is indeed the video of the PM visiting West Bengal for Amphan relief.

We also found that the video was first posted by Akashvani Sangbad Kolkata, All India Radio Kolkata’s official Facebook page.

The video is captioned as follows –

প্রধানমন্ত্রীর বৈঠক
বসিরহাটে আজ প্রধানমন্ত্রীর বৈঠক যথেষ্ট ফলপ্রসূ হয়েছে বলে মনে করা হচ্ছে। এদিনের বৈঠকে মুখ্যমন্ত্রী মমতা ব্যানার্জির উপস্থিতিতে প্রধানমন্ত্রী সুপার সাইক্লোনে বিধ্বস্ত পশ্চিমবঙ্গকে জরুরী ভিত্তিতে এক হাজার কোটি টাকা সাহায্যের কথা ঘোষণা করেন। এছাড়া ঝড়ে নিহতের পরিবার পিছু প্রধানমন্ত্রীর ত্রান তহবিল থেকে দু লক্ষ টাকা দেওয়ার কথা বলা হয়। বসিরহাট কলেজের প্রশাসনিক বৈঠক শেষে প্রধানমন্ত্রী কলকাতা বিমানবন্দর হয়ে ওড়িশার় উদ্দেশ্যে রওনা হয়ে যান। এ দিনের বৈঠকে মুখ্যমন্ত্রী ছাড়াও রাজ্যপাল জগদীপ ধনকার, কেন্দ্রীয় মন্ত্রী বাবুল সুপ্রিয় ও দেবশ্রী চৌধুরী, রাজ্যের মুখ্য সচিব রাজীব সিনহা সহ রাজ্য ও জেলা প্রশাসনের পদস্থ কর্তাব্যক্তিরা উপস্থিত ছিলেন।”

Meeting of the Prime Minister
The Prime Minister’s meeting in Basirhat today is believed to have been quite fruitful. In today’s meeting, in the presence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Prime Minister announced an emergency aid of Rs 1,000 crore to West Bengal, which was devastated by the cyclone. Besides, the families of the victims of the storm were asked to pay two lakh rupees from the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. After the administrative meeting of Basirhat College, the Prime Minister left for Orissa via Calcutta Airport. Apart from the Chief Minister, Governor Jagdeep Dhankar, Union Ministers Babul Supriya and Debashree Chowdhury, Chief Secretary of the State Rajiv Sinha and other senior officials of the state and district administrations were also present at the meeting.”


There are no “Chowkidar Chor Hai” chants in the original video. The crowd can be heard calling “Didi” (CM Mamata Banerjee is also called “Didi” in West Bengal)  and chanting “Jai Shree Ram”.

We found another video of the incident, taken from a different angle by Bengal Times 24X7, which was broadcasting it live on their Facebook page. In this video too, the crowd chants “Jai Shree Ram”, not “Chowkidar Chor Hai”.





Using keywords, we found the audio used in this clip. The “Chowkidar Chor Hai” audio was taken from a BJP rally in Bengaluru, where Karnataka’s BJP leaders were campaigning, according to an article by Times of India.


Therefore, the people gathered in West Bengal did not chant “Chowkidar Chor Hai”. The audio has been edited onto a recent video of the PM in Bengal.

The crowds called out to “Didi” and raised slogans of “Jai Shree Ram” before PM Modi took off in a helicopter.

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Aishwarya Varma

Avid reader, decent baker. Lifelong student. Better with animals than people.