Following the controversial comment by Nupur Sharma and her subsequent suspension from the BJP, protests were organised across the country. Within this context, several posts with communal angle have gone viral, spreading misinformation.
The Logical Indian Fact Check Team has recently debunked a video that had gone viral in the context of the Nupur Sharma protests.
The video is quite disturbing in nature so discretion is advised before viewing. The video depicts a police officer in a seemingly unresponsive state, lying on the ground and drenched in a pool of blood. A rifle can be seen lying beside the officer.
An angry crowd can be seen around the body of the police officer. The crowd appears to be in an agitated state shouting at a police officer. However, their voices are unintelligible and it seems that the crowd is shouting at the police officer.
The viral posts claim that in Kolkata, a police officer was killed by Muslim rioters and they began threatening his partner following the incident. This incident allegedly took place in the context of the protests that erupted after the Nupur Sharma controversy.
A Twitter user shared this video and wrote a caption in Hindi which reads, "कोलकाता में मुस्लिम दंगाइयों ने पुलिस वाले को मार डाला,,उसके बाद उसके साथी को भी धमकी दे रहे है। ममता बनर्जी."
[English Translation: In Kolkata, Muslim rioters killed a policeman, after that they are also threatening his partner. @MamataBanerjee.]
[Trigger Warning: The Logical Indian has not embedded the video due to its graphic nature. Click here to watch the video.]
A Facebook user wrote, "कोलकाता में दंगाइयों ने पुलिस वाले को मार डाला,,उसके बाद उसके साथी को भी धमकी दे रहे है । ममता बनर्जी."
[English Translation: In Kolkata, Muslim rioters killed a policeman, after that they are also threatening his partner. MamataBanerjee.]
The Logical Indian fact check team verified the viral claim and found it to be false. The police officer shot himself and no communal angle was involved in this case.
We conducted a keyword search with the text of the viral video to verify whether the claims made were true or not. Following the keyword search, we came across this report by Hindustan Times published on June 10, 2022.
The thumbnail from the report matches up with a snapshot from the viral video. The thumbnail is zoomed in on the INSAS rifle that lies beside the officer in the viral video.
The report talks about a 28-year-old police constable, Choudup Lepcha, who was posted at Kolkata's Park Circus on the afternoon of June 10th. He reportedly fired indiscriminately from his rifle which led to the death of a woman and injury to two others. The constable then shot himself. The incident took place at Lower Range Road, which is around 500 metres from the Bangladesh Deputy High Commission.
We also came across a report by the Indian Express published on June 11, 2022. According to it, the incident took place at around 2:30 pm at the Karaya police station a few hundred metres away from the Seven-Point Crossing at Park Circus. The crowds seen in the video had gathered to protest against the controversial remarks that suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, as per the police in the report.
The Indian Express report quotes Additional Commissioner of Police, Kolkata Police, Praveen Tripathi, as saying, "Two persons, a woman and the policeman, died and two others suffered bullet injuries in the incident."
As per the report, the constable Chodup Lepcha fired around 15 rounds from his INSAS Self-Loading Rifle. A bullet hit a woman and she fell off the motorbike she was riding and died on the spot due to excessive bleeding. The injured persons underwent treatment at SSKM Hospital and are out of danger. The constable then shot himself in the neck after firing a few more rounds indiscriminately. The rifle was found lying beside his body, as per the report.
As per an India Today report published on June 10, 2022, Vineet Kumar Goyal, the commissioner of Kolkata Police, said the constable was recruited last year on compassionate grounds since his policeman father, died in service in 2017. In the India Today report, the Kolkata police stated that the incident was not connected to the protests over the Nupur Sharma controversy.
The police have also mentioned that the matter is under investigation as to why the constable shot people indiscriminately and then shot himself. In the reports, there is no mention of people from the crowd assaulting the police officer or picking up arms against the police.
We came across video reports of the incident by Zee24 and NDTV, which showed the visuals after the incident which matched up with the viral video. The reports also show the aftermath of the incident and affirm that it was caused by the constable committing suicide. In the NDTV video report, we came across footage from another angle which matched up with the footage from the viral video. Alongwith the police officer, a man in grey clothing can be seen in both the viral video and the video report.
In our investigation, we found out that the incident took place when a Kolkata Police constable opened an indiscriminate fire in Kolkata. One person died while two others were injured in the shooting. Following the shooting, the constable shot himself, as per media reports. As per reports, the incident was widely reported with statements by the Kolkata police and Praveen Kumar Tripathi, the additional commissioner of police, who affirmed that the protest held nearby had no connection with the incident.
While the incident is recent and a protest related to the Nupur Sharma row was being held nearby, police officers were not attacked by Muslim rioters in the crowd. The argument seen in the video between the police officer and a person is most likely people being agitated after the disturbing incident. Thus, we are able to ascertain that the incident has been shared with a false communal claim.
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