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Deepak Adhikari

Kathmandu, Nepal
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About Deepak
Deepak Adhikari is an investigative journalist based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He is currently the editor of Nepal Check, a fact-checking platform in Nepal. From March 2020 to July 2022, he was the editor of South Asia Check, Nepal's pioneering fact-checking outlet. 

His areas of work include Nepal's politics, geopolitics, foreign investments, tourism and human trafficking. His work has appeared in several international outlets including Al Jazeera English, TIME magazine, The Caravan magazine, Nikkei Asian Review, The Guardian, among others.
Hindi Nepali
Investigative Reporting

Nepal: Police arrest dozens of anti-government protesters

04 Apr 2024  |  aa.com.tr
In Nepal, 76 protesters were arrested by police for organizing a general strike in response to the dissolution of the country's parliament by Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli. The arrests occurred in Kathmandu amid ongoing sit-in protests and rallies by a faction of the ruling Nepal Communist Party. The Supreme Court is hearing petitions regarding the parliament's dissolution.

Countering climate misinformation

09 Feb 2024  |  thehimalayantimes.com
Climate misinformation continues to spread despite scientific consensus on climate change, with fossil fuel companies, political agendas, and disinformation networks fueling falsehoods. Mainstream media's inadequate science reporting and the journalistic norm of presenting 'both sides' contribute to the problem. ExxonMobil's disinformation campaign, debunked by Inside Climate News, exemplifies corporate denialism. Misinformation undermines trust in science and hampers climate action. Terms like climate denialism, skepticism, discourse of distraction, delay, conspiracy theories, and greenwashing describe various misinformation tactics. John Cook's FLICC taxonomy helps counteract misinformation by promoting critical thinking and awareness.

Viral Video Claiming to Show Nepal Procession for Ram Temple in India is Misleading

21 Jan 2024  |  NepalCheck.Org
A video that went viral claiming to show a procession in Nepal for the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, India, is misleading. The video actually depicts a July 2023 ceremony in Greater Noida, India, not a procession from Goddess Sita’s maternal home in Nepal. The claim was debunked by Nepal Check through keyframe analysis and cross-referencing with news reports, including one from ETV India about a Kalash Yatra that took place before Pandit Dhirendra Krishna Shastri's recitation of Bhagwat Katha in early July.

Old memories and new realities in Phidim

18 Nov 2023  |  kathmandupost.com
The author revisits his hometown of Phidim during Dashain, reflecting on its transformation from a quaint town to a more urbanized area. Despite new infrastructure and buildings, the town faces challenges such as a lack of quality higher education and specialist healthcare, leading to a mass exodus of residents. The author nostalgically recounts his childhood memories, the changes in the town, and the realization that Phidim is now more of a transit town for pilgrims heading to Pathibhara Devi Temple. The journey evokes a mix of nostalgia and acceptance of the town's evolving identity.

Viral TikTok Video Falsely Claims to Show Jajarkot Quake

10 Nov 2023  |  nepalcheck.org
A widely shared TikTok video falsely claims to show the recent earthquake in Jajarkot, Nepal. Nepal Check's investigation revealed that the video is actually from the 2015 earthquake in central Nepal. The recent Jajarkot earthquake on November 3, 2023, resulted in significant casualties and damage. The viral TikTok post, which garnered over 1 million views, was debunked through a detailed verification process, confirming the video was from eight years ago.

How to Detect AI-Generated Images

01 Nov 2023  |  Media Helping Media - Free journalism and media strategy training resources
Deepak Adhikari, editor of Nepal Check, discusses the spread of AI-generated images following an earthquake in Nepal and outlines methods for identifying fake photographs. The article highlights the challenges fact-checkers face with the rise of AI-enabled platforms capable of generating realistic images. It emphasizes the importance of skepticism, source verification, and visual clues to distinguish between real and AI-generated content. Experts recommend that news media and social media users disclose AI-generated images to prevent misinformation.

Video Claiming To Show Nepal’s Nagdhunga Tunnel Is From Saudi Arabia

07 Oct 2023  |  nepalcheck.org
A viral TikTok video claiming to show Nepal's Nagdhunga tunnel is actually footage of a tunnel on the Al Baha road in Saudi Arabia. The video, posted by TikTok user Hari Godar Thapa Chhetri, was analyzed and compared with a YouTube video by Mike Viado, confirming the misleading claim. The investigation highlights the importance of verifying information before accepting it as true.

Nepal PM jets from U.S. to China to talk connectivity, security

23 Sep 2023  |  asia.nikkei.com
Nepal's Prime Minister, known as Prachanda, is traveling to China for talks on connectivity and security after attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York and a reception by U.S. President Joe Biden. This marks the first visit to China by a Nepalese leader in three years, following Prachanda's trip to India, which competes with Beijing for influence in the region.

Posts falsely claim viral video shows flooded bridge in Nepal

14 Sep 2023  |  nepalcheck.org
A viral video claiming to show a flooded bridge in Nepal is debunked by Nepal Check, revealing it actually depicts a flood in Swat Valley, Pakistan, from over a year ago. The video, initially posted by Nepal Icons on Facebook, gained traction on TikTok and YouTube. A comprehensive fact-check involving reverse image searches and cross-referencing with reports from Samaa Television and other sources confirmed the video's true origin. The false claim has been widely circulated on social media, but evidence firmly establishes the video's Pakistani context.

Post goes viral with misleading claim it shows rally in Dharan

28 Aug 2023  |  nepalcheck.org
A viral video and photos claiming to show a rally in Dharan after a controversial beef consumption incident and subsequent protest plans were found to be misleading. Nepal Check's investigation revealed that the imagery was from a religious procession in Birgunj, celebrating the 11th anniversary of Gahwa Mai Temple, and not from Dharan. The content was incorrectly labeled and shared on social media platforms, including Facebook and TikTok. The actual event depicted was the Ratha Yatra held in Birgunj two months prior to the viral posts.

Fact-Check: Viral Video Misrepresents Nepal’s Prime Minister Dahal’s Views, Lacks Context

23 Jul 2023  |  nepalcheck.org
A viral video clip falsely claimed that Nepal's Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' expressed dislike for the republic, federalism, and inclusiveness. Nepal Check's investigation revealed that the video was selectively edited and taken out of context, as Dahal was actually quoting former Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli's views, not his own. The misleading video was shared on social media, including by members of the opposition party Rastriya Prajatantra Party. Nepal Check concluded that the claim in the viral video lacks context and does not reflect Dahal's personal views.

Insights into the modern political history of Nepal

15 Jul 2023  |  kathmandupost.com
Sanjay Upadhya's book 'Democracy in Turns: A Political Account of Nepal' provides an overview of Nepal's political history, particularly from the 1990s onwards. The book condenses significant events into 280 pages but has been criticized for lacking depth and relying heavily on international sources. It assumes reader familiarity with Nepali politics, which may challenge some. The book offers insights into the political parties' actions in opposition versus power and captures the Maoist insurgency's impact. However, it has been noted for potential bias towards the Shah monarchy and for not fully exploring the implications of certain historical transitions.

Fact-Check: Photo Shows Flood-Damaged Bridge in Panchthar, not Sankhuwasabha

22 Jun 2023  |  nepalcheck.org
Recent floods and landslides in eastern Nepal have caused fatalities and destruction. A photo of a collapsed bridge circulated by Ratopati and Nepal Live was claimed to be from Sankhuwasabha district. However, an investigation by Nepal Check and confirmation from reporter Giriraj Banskota revealed that the photo was actually of a bridge over the Hewa Khola river in Panchthar district. The misleading photo was part of the Mechi Highway and not from the flood-affected area in Sankhuwasabha.

Fact-Check: Viral Nepal Wedding Video Shared with False Claims

10 Jun 2023  |  nepalcheck.org
A viral video of a Nepalese wedding was falsely claimed to show a bride who would be buried alive if her husband died. The video, initially shared by @ScreenMix and widely circulated on TikTok, was fact-checked by Nepal Check. The investigation revealed that the video was recorded during a wedding ceremony in Bajhang district, Nepal, and featured Jayanti Khadka, who confirmed it was her love marriage. The claim was debunked as false.

Nepal's PM heads to India to mend fences, win benefits

30 May 2023  |  Nikkei Asia
Nepal's Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, also known as Prachanda, is preparing for a four-day diplomatic visit to India with the goal of improving strained relations due to border disputes and power project issues. The two countries share a 1,770-kilometer open border and have a history of trade and political influence, which was impacted when Nepal released a political map including territory controlled by India.

Yoga Meets Intelligent Internet of Things: Recent Challenges and Future Directions

09 Apr 2023  |  MDPI
The article discusses the integration of yoga with the Intelligent Internet of Things (IIoT) and its implications for health monitoring and exercise guidance. It covers the benefits of yoga for physical and mental health, the use of IIoT to detect and monitor yoga postures, and the challenges and future directions in this field. The authors provide a comprehensive survey on the topic, including the types of yoga, safety measures, and the application of IIoT in yoga practice. They also highlight the need for more research to explore the long-term impacts of yoga and the technological advancements in IIoT for yoga practice.

‘A Matter of Life and Death’: The Harrowing Journey of Nepalese Migrants to the U.S.

05 Apr 2023  |  www.occrp.org
The article details the perilous journey of a Nepalese man, referred to as Ramesh, who embarked on a risky and expensive migration to the United States in search of a better life. Ramesh's odyssey took him through various countries, facing dangers such as treacherous jungle crossings and encounters with smugglers and robbers. The story highlights the broader issue of human smuggling from Nepal, with local social workers and law enforcement discussing the prevalence of the issue in the region. Despite the hardships, Ramesh eventually made it to the U.S., and his social media suggests he has achieved some level of success. However, the article also touches on the high costs and debts incurred by migrants, suggesting that the true beneficiaries of this migration are often traffickers and moneylenders. The piece includes additional reporting by Nathan Jaccard (OCCRP) and Jose Guarnizo (Revista Semana).

The long road home for Nepal’s stolen deities

05 Apr 2023  |  NepalCheck.Org
The article discusses the repatriation of stolen cultural artefacts to Nepal, highlighting the efforts of art enthusiasts, community members, and organizations in restoring Nepal's cultural heritage. Two wooden struts from the Narayan Temple and a stone sculpture of the Buddhist Goddess Tara from the Bir Bhadreshwar Mahadev Temple were recently returned from the US and Yale University Art Gallery, respectively. The article outlines the history of art theft in Nepal, particularly during the 1970s and 80s, and the role of books by Lain Singh Bangdel and Juergen Schick in documenting these stolen artefacts. The Lost Arts of Nepal social media campaign and the Nepal Heritage Recovery Campaign have been instrumental in identifying and pressuring for the return of these items. The process of repatriation involves verifying the provenance of artefacts, negotiating with foreign institutions, and sometimes involving the FBI and Interpol. Once returned, artefacts are kept at the National Museum and can be reclaimed by local communities, who must also ensure their security. The article concludes with the mention of a documentary titled 'The God Thieves' by Newsy, which addresses the broader issue of antiquities trafficking.

Was re-polling peaceful in Dolakha?

13 Dec 2022  |  nepalcheck.org
The Election Commission ordered re-polling in Dolakha after determining that the initial polling did not meet standards. While news reports claimed the re-polling was peaceful, social media videos showed clashes between political party cadres and security forces. Fact-checking revealed that confrontations did occur, particularly involving supporters of the ruling coalition and CPN-UML cadres. Despite these clashes, the re-polling proceeded without major disruptions, making the claim of peaceful re-polling only partially true.

A Novel Smart Belt for Anxiety Detection, Classification, and Reduction Using IIoMT on Students’ Cardiac Signal and MSY

12 Dec 2022  |  MDPI
The study investigates the increasing prevalence of anxiety among university students and explores the effectiveness of a novel smart belt integrated with the Intelligent Internet of Medical Things (IIoMT) and Mano Shakti Yoga (MSY) in detecting, classifying, and reducing anxiety. Over six weeks, 66 students were monitored using a smart belt to detect anxiety through cardiac signals and self-rating anxiety scales. The experimental group practiced MSY, showing significant anxiety reduction compared to the control group. Machine learning algorithms, including Decision Tree, Random Forest, and AdaBoost, were used to analyze the data, achieving a maximum accuracy of 80% with the Random Forest algorithm. The study concludes that MSY can significantly improve students' mental health, attention, and memory.

Nepal election features familiar faces, big vows: 5 things to know

05 Nov 2022  |  Nikkei Asia
Nepal has commenced its campaign for parliamentary and provincial elections, with voting scheduled for November 20. This marks the second general election since the adoption of a new constitution in 2015, which transitioned Nepal from a unitary Hindu kingdom to a federal republic with federal, provincial, and local tiers of government.

Nepalis stashing money in Swiss banks, explained

01 Oct 2022  |  nepalcheck.org
Nepali politicians and investigative journalists have raised concerns about the significant amounts of money deposited by Nepalis in Swiss banks, with figures showing a substantial increase over the years. Despite promises from the government to investigate and retrieve these funds, little action has been taken. The article delves into the history and mechanisms of Swiss banking secrecy, the challenges of money laundering, and the difficulties Nepal faces in bringing back illicit funds. Key figures and organizations involved in the investigation and discussion include former finance ministers, lawmakers, and investigative bodies like the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the Center for Investigative Journalism Nepal.

TikTok user falsely claims mixture of coconut oil and Vitamin E capsule cures melasma

19 Sep 2022  |  nepalcheck.org
A TikTok user falsely claimed that a mixture of coconut oil and Vitamin E capsules can cure melasma, attributing the remedy to Ayurveda. Experts, including an Ayurvedic scholar and a dermatologist, refuted the claim, stating that Ayurvedic texts do not mention vitamins and that coconut oil and Vitamin E cannot cure melasma. The article concludes that the TikTok user's claim is false.

Nepal’s map in Urdu doesn’t say it’s turning into Islamic republic

15 Sep 2022  |  nepalcheck.org
A viral social media post falsely claimed that a map of Nepal with Urdu captions depicted the country as an 'Islamic Republic'. The map, created by Mahmud Jalil Qasmi for educational purposes, was misinterpreted. Fact-checking by Nepal Check and translations by Pakistani journalist Lubna Jerar confirmed that the map only identified the districts and provinces of Nepal in Urdu, without any political implications.

No, video doesn’t show UML lawmakers chanting pro-monarchy slogans

24 Aug 2022  |  NepalCheck.Org
A video circulated on social media, including Twitter and Facebook, purportedly shows lawmakers from the Communist Party of Nepal, Unified Marxist and Leninist (CPN-UML) chanting pro-monarchy slogans during a parliamentary session. The video was shared by a user named Apil Gurung and gained some traction online. However, upon investigation by Nepal Check, it was found that the original video from a House of Representatives session on September 8, 2021, had been doctored. The lawmakers were actually protesting against Speaker Agni Sapkota with slogans related to maintaining the dignity of Parliament and the rule of law. The original voices in the video were replaced with pro-monarchy slogans. The misleading video was shared in the context of the upcoming parliamentary elections in Nepal, with the apparent aim of discrediting the CPN-UML party.

Fact-check: Adhikari’s claims about Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament

17 Aug 2022  |  nepalcheck.org
Khagaraj Adhikari, a lawmaker from the Communist Party of Nepal (UML), claimed that Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has not attended any Prime Minister’s Questions sessions since taking office, implying a lack of accountability to Parliament. Nepal Check confirmed that the prime minister is indeed required to answer questions twice a month according to the House of Representatives Regulation, and that no PMQs have been held since Deuba's tenure began. However, the article points out that Adhikari's claim lacks context, as he failed to mention the roles of both the speaker and the MPs in organizing PMQs, including his own responsibility as an MP, thus rendering his claim incomplete and misleading.

TikTok user claims mixture of coconut oil and vitamin E capsule cures melasma. But, it's false

08 Aug 2022  |  english.onlinekhabar.com
A TikTok user's claim that a mixture of coconut oil and vitamin E capsules can cure melasma is false. Ayurvedic texts do not clearly describe vitamins, and coconut oil is barely mentioned in classical Ayurvedic literature. Dermatologists do not recommend coconut oil for melasma treatment, and vitamin E cannot be injected into the skin to cure it. Melasma is influenced by hereditary factors, sun exposure, and birth control pills, and while coconut oil has some beneficial properties for the skin, it is not a cure for melasma.

Assam landslide video falsely shared on TikTok as landslide in Sindhuli

31 Jul 2022  |  nepalcheck.org
A video of a landslide in Assam, India, was falsely shared on TikTok by user @bibhushanpoudel as a recent landslide in Sindhuli, Nepal. Nepal Check fact-checked the claim using video verification tools and reverse image search, confirming the video's actual location in Assam. The claim by the TikTok user was determined to be false.

The Basics of Fact-Checking

10 Feb 2022  |  Media Helping Media - Free journalism and media strategy training resources
The proliferation of social media has led to widespread misinformation, especially during major events like the Covid-19 pandemic. Fact-checking is essential to ensure people have accurate information to make informed decisions. Tactical Tech's 'Exposing the Invisible – The Kit' is a resource designed to help individuals develop skills to identify false information and conduct fact-checking effectively. The Kit includes sections on the mindset needed for fact-checking, how to get started, staying safe, and challenges faced, with contributions from fact-checkers in Nepal and India.

Shashank Koirala significantly understates Nepal’s arable land area

01 Mar 2021  |  southasiacheck.org
Shashank Koirala, General Secretary of the Nepali Congress, significantly understated Nepal's arable land area during an interview on AP1 TV. He claimed that Nepal has 1.7 million hectares of arable land, but the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development's report and the Central Bureau of Statistics' Environment Statistics of Nepal 2019 indicate that the total arable land is 4.121 million hectares, including both cultivated and uncultivated agricultural land.

PM made four false claims in two recent speeches

05 Feb 2021  |  southasiacheck.org
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli made several false claims in his recent speeches, including incorrect statements about Nepal's hydropower history, the country's electricity generation capacity, the enforcement of a nationwide shutdown, and the UK's parliamentary dissolution laws. Fact-checking reveals that Nepal was not the first South Asian country to generate hydropower, and its installed capacity was higher than Oli claimed. Additionally, viral photos used to support his shutdown claim were misattributed, and his statements about the UK's constitution and Covid-19 vaccination booths were inaccurate.

Nepal starts issuing on-arrival visa for tourists

25 Nov 2020  |  www.recordnepal.com
The articles from 'The Record' cover a range of topics related to Nepal and its interactions with the world. The first article discusses the resumption of on-arrival visas for tourists in Nepal, indicating a cautious optimism among tourism entrepreneurs and workers. The second article highlights the ongoing issues with Kathmandu's vaccination drive, marked by mismanagement and overcrowding. The third piece reflects on the contribution of Nepali contractors to America's wars on Veteran's Day, noting their lack of appreciation and fair compensation. The fourth article critiques the Nepali government's response to India's inauguration of a road to Mansarovar, suggesting that a press statement may be insufficient. The fifth article reports on the Nepali government's adoption of COVID-19 measures. Lastly, the sixth article delves into the confusion surrounding the court ruling in the Nirmala Panta case, which has failed to bring clarity or closure.

Nepal's territorial flare-ups with India and China test its finesse

14 Nov 2020  |  Nikkei Asia
Nepal is currently involved in territorial disputes with both of its neighbors, India and China. Traditionally, Nepal has been economically dependent on India, but in recent times, it has sought to diversify its economic partnerships by engaging with China, particularly through the Belt and Road Initiative. The Nepalese government now faces the delicate task of managing domestic discontent over these territorial issues without jeopardizing its broader economic strategies and relationships with these powerful neighboring countries.

One Dead as Protesters and Police Clash in Nepal

03 Nov 2015  |  www.nytimes.com
Protesters and Nepalese police clashed near the India-Nepal border, resulting in the death of an Indian man and exacerbating Nepal's political and economic crisis. The police cleared protesters from a bridge in Birgunj, leading to the crossing of over 200 trucks into India. The ethnic Madhesi population, opposing a new Constitution, continued their protests, attacking security forces and setting fire to a nongovernmental organization's office.

Report on Nepal Protests Details Grisly Violence

17 Oct 2015  |  www.nytimes.com
Human Rights Watch reported on violent protests in Nepal's Terai region against the new Constitution, which was perceived to favor traditional ruling classes and marginalize Madhesis and Tharus. The violence included the beating death of police officers and extrajudicial killings by police. The protests have led to curfews and a tense standoff with India, which has historical ties to the Madhesis and has closed border crossings, causing fuel shortages in Nepal. The situation has affected the local population, with many desiring peace and a resolution to the conflict.

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