Fact Check: Unrelated video passed off as TMC men attacking cops in Bengal post-poll violence

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Violence broke out in West Bengal soon after results of the assembly elections were announced on May 2. Several political workers, mainly of Opposition parties, have been killed or injured, and party offices, houses and shops targeted according to reports.

On social media, a video of a mob attacking a police van is circulating with the claim that it shows Trinamool Congress supporters attacking cops who’d come to control post-poll clashes. The caption with the video says, “#PresidentRuleInBengal Policeman came to control the situation & then TMC goons attacks on Police. #tmcgoons #BengalViolence”.

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India Today Anti Fake News War Room (AFWA) has found the claim along with the video to be misleading. The video is of a clash that broke out between police and locals over the death of a youth in Odisha in January 2021.

The archived versions of the posts can be seen here and here.

AFWA probe

Going through the comments under the viral video, we found several netizens pointing out that it is an old incident from Odisha.

Taking a cue from this, we did a reverse image search of key frames of the video with appropriate keywords and found that the same video was carried in a report published on January 14, 2021, by Odisha-based YouTube channel “ONA Khabar”. The caption of the video says, “Protest over the man’s death At Bhadrak”.

On further search, we found similar visuals carried on the verified YouTube channel of Kalinga TV, an Odisha-based news channel.

According to these reports published on January 13, 2021, the video shows locals of Tihidi block in Odisha’s Bhadrak district attacking a police jeep over the alleged death of a youth.

Several news portals from Odisha had also reported the incident on the same day.

As per these reports, the youth, identified as Bapi Mahalik of Hatuari village, was interrogated by police regarding a case. His body was later recovered from a village pond.

The death triggered massive unrest in the village with the family alleging that the youth killed himself over police brutality. Following this, villagers blocked the Bhadrak-Chandbali highway near Allinagar by keeping the youth’s body on the road. When police reached the protest site to disperse the crowd and clear the roadblock, the protesters set the police van on fire.

India Today’s Odisha bureau also confirmed to us that the video in question is from Tihidi block of Bhadrak district. Hence, it is clear that the viral video is not related to the recent post-poll clashes in West Bengal.

ClaimVideo shows Trinamool Congress workers attacking policemen who came to control post-poll clashes in West Bengal. ConclusionThis is a January 2021 video from Odisha’s Bhadrak where locals clashed with police over the death of a youth.

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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