Fact Check: Did BJP MP from Kerala conduct his mother's funeral without revealing she died of Covid-19?

Netizens are sharing local media reports from Kerala which claims that BJP MP and former Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam allegedly sent his mother's dead body from Delhi to Kerala for the funeral without revealing she died of Covid-19.

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With over 55,000 new coronavirus cases as on August 18, 2020, India now has over 27 lakh registered covid cases across the country. Amidst this, netizens are sharing local media reports from Kerala which claims that BJP MP and former Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam allegedly sent his mother's dead body from Delhi to Kerala for the funeral without revealing she died of Covid-19. Furious netizens demanded action against the Rajya Sabha MP from Kerala for violating the Covid-19 protocol.

One such post on Twitter reads, “BJP MP Alphons Kannanthanam hides his mother's death due to #COVID19 and conducts funeral; Row erupts Her body was brought to Kerala by flight & kept for public to pay homage at Manimala Many lives are at high risk, angers crowd due to #COVIDIOTS,”

India Today Anti Fake News War Room (AFWA) has found that the claim is misleading. The Rajya Sabha MP’s mother did not die due to Covid-19. She was tested negative twice for Covid-19 before her demise at AIIMS, Delhi, due to internal organ damage.

The archived versions of similar claims can be seen here and here.

AFWA probe

We found a Facebook post by MP Kannanthanam where he says though his mother was tested Covid positive on May 28 and admitted to AIIMS ICU in Delhi, but she had recovered later and repeated tests on June 5 and 10 at AIIMS showed she was Covid negative.

“Even though she was cured of Covid by 5th, her vital organs were badly damaged due to Covid. Her lungs collapsed and she finally died of a heart seizure,” the MP wrote on his official Facebook page as a clarification towards the allegations.

Kannanthanam also posted the images of his mother’s negative Covid-19 test result from AIIMS.

The Kerala State Government’s Information Public Relations Department (IPRD) also stated that the allegations against the MP were factually incorrect.

The clarification of IPRD in Malayalam on the official Facebook page of its Fact Check Division translates to English as, “The rumour that the dead body of former Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam’s mother was brought to Kerala from Delhi in violation of the Covid-19 protocol and was cremated is false. At the time of her death, she was not Covid positive. Therefore, the Covid protocol does not apply to the bringing of her corpse and the conduct of funeral rites.”

According to media reports, the controversy erupted after Alphons Kannanthanam revealed in a video that his mother died of Covid-19. Following this, Jomon Puthenpurackal, a social worker from Kerala, put out a post on Facebook saying the BJP MP had not earlier revealed about his mother dying of coronavirus. After she died in Delhi on June 10, she was brought to rest in her grave in Kerala on June 14, following a public homage, Jomon wrote.

Many local media houses including Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi carried this allegation by Puthenpurackal which eventually led to the social media outrage.

Kannanthanam quashing the allegations against him also posted, "My mother was perfectly healthy at 91. She died because Covid destroyed her vital organs."

Thus the claim that Rajya Sabha MP Alphons Kannanthanam violated the Covid-19 protocol by sending his mother's dead body to Kerala for the funeral without revealing she died of Covid-19 is false. Though she was initially Covid-19 positive, at the time of death she was not infected with the virus and died due to internal organ damage.

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INDIA TODAY FACT CHECK
ClaimBJP MP Alphons Kannanthanam violated the Covid-19 protocol by sending his mother's dead body to Kerala for the funeral without revealing she died of Covid-19.ConclusionThe MP’s mother died due to internal organ damage. She did not die of Covid-19 and was tested negative twice before her death at AIIMS, Delhi.
JHOOTH BOLE KAUVA KAATE

The number of crows determines the intensity of the lie.

  • 1 Crow: Half True
  • 2 Crows: Mostly lies
  • 3 Crows: Absolutely false
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