The auspicious month of Sawan started on July 14 this year. During this month, Lord Shiva is worshipped, and the devotees observe fast on every Monday. During the Kanwar Yatra, Kanwariyas fetch water from the Holy Ganges and then offer the 'Ganga Jal' to Shivling.
In the backdrop of this, a video of policemen thrashing devotees is going viral on social media. In this 51-second-long video, policemen wearing white uniforms can be seen beating people standing near a temple. While sharing this video, people on social media claimed that the viral video is from a recent Kanwar yatra where Kolkata police brutally thrashed the devotees. The video is being circulated to target Mamta government.
A Twitter user shared this video and wrote a caption in Hindi which reads, "बंगाल मे कवड़ियो पे ममता बानो की पुलिस लाठिया बरसाती हुई। मुझे तो लग रहा है ये ममता भारत में रहते हुए दूसरा देश चला रही है."
[English Translate: In Bengal, Mamta Bano's police lathi-charging on the kanwariyas. I feel this Mamta is running another country while living in India.]
Right-leaning page KreatleyMedia which is known for peddling fake news, tweeted this video and wrote, "अगर अब भी ना समझे तो कब समझेंगे ? #KanwarYatra."
[English Translation: If you don't understand now, when will you understand? #KanwarYatra.]
A Facebook user wrote, "बंगाल मे कवड़ियो पे ममता बानो की पुलिस लाठिया बरसाती हुई."
[English Translation: In Bengal, Mamta Bano's police lathi charging on Kanwariyas.]
It is being widely shared on Facebook and Twitter with a similar claim.
Kolkata Police thrashed devotees during recent kanwar Yatra.
The Logical Indian fact check team verified the claim and found it to be false. The viral video is from August 2021.
During the initial investigation, we used InVid's Keyframe analysis tool to isolate the keyframes of the video. We conducted a reverse image search on one of the isolated keyframes which led us to offical Twitter handle of BJP Bengal dated 16 August 2021 in which same footage can be seen. The caption of the tweet reads, "In front of the Bhootnath temple, the devotees of Shiva were brutally beaten by the Kolkata police. Is this what the devotees of Shiva deserve? Mamata Banerjee's reign in Bengal serves as a microcosm of the Taliban rule! Shame." This tweet suggests that the viral video is not from recent time.
We then did an open keyword search and found a report of TV9 Hindi dated 16 August 2021 in which similar footage can be seen. According to the report, the viral video is of Kolkata's Bhoothnath temple located in Beniatola area of Kolkata, West Bengal. Due to Covid-19 restriction, Bhootnath temple was closed for the devotees. However, on Monday there was a crowd of devotees to offer prayers. After the crowd gathered, a scuffle broke out between the police and the public after which the police resorted to lathi-charge to control the crowd.
It is evident from our investigation that the viral video is not recent but from August 2021. The incident took place at Bhoothnath temple, Kolkata when police lathi charged on devotees who gathered outside the temple during the covid lockdown. It has nothing to do with the ongoing Kanwar Yatra. Hence, the viral claim is misleading.
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