A video of an altercation between police officers and people on a street has gone viral in the context of the ongoing controversy regarding the Gyanvapi mosque. Recently, the video survey of the Gyanvapi mosque was leaked and has been aired across TV channels.
The video survey went viral even as the district court had provided sealed copies of the video survey to the petitioners who had requested to pray in the premises of the mosque.
Reports about the video survey by news portals such as India Today, claim that it contains 'clearest footage of the claimed shivling'. The next hearing of of the case would be held on July 4 by the Varanasi Court.
The viral video with a duration of 28 seconds shows police assaulting some people on the street with rods. The police can be seen pulling and pushing persons over a road divider and assaulting them. The captions with the viral video claim that police in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, where the Gyanvapi mosque is located, have resorted to assaulting protestors who are allegedly demanding that the survey of the mosque be prohibited.
A Twitter user shared this video and wrote a caption in Hindi which reads, "बोल रहे थे ज्ञानवापी में सर्वे नहीं होने देंगे फिर क्या था उ.प्र. पुलिस सुजाने मे इतना टाइम नहीं लगाती है."
[English Translation: Those people were saying that the survey will not be allowed in Gyanvapi. Then what, UP Police don't take that much time to beat people.]
Another user wrote, "ज्ञानवापी का सर्वे नही होने देंगे बस इतना ही कहना था नेता जी का! उत्तर प्रदेश पुलिस ने नेता पर किया सर्वे."
The Logical Indian fact check team verified the viral claim and found it to be false. The viral video is from 2021 and presented out of context.
We used InVid's Keyframe Analysis tool to isolate the keyframes of the viral video. We then conducted a reverse image search on one of the keyframes which led us to this video report by Navbharat Times uploaded on 3 July 2021 where similar footage can be seen. The video report is titled, "They were carrying out a demonstration in the Panchayat elections, Police lashed out at them with sticks".
As per the Navbharat Times report, a protest was held over allegations of irregularities in vote counting after the election of District Panchayat President in Prayagraj, UP. These protesters were Samajwadi Party workers who were lathi-charged by the police.
The lathi charged began after the results were declared and the BJP candidate secured victory, the report stated. The report also states that the police were provoked to lathi-charge due to incidents of stone-pelting and hooliganism.
We came across this report by NDTV published on July 11, 2021. The report details how there were conflicts between police and workers from both SP and BJP. In Prayagraj, it is also mentioned how clashes between police and SP workers were reported.
We also came across this Hindustan Times report where the Samajwadi Party allegedly lathi-charged on workers during district panchayat elections in Uttar Pradesh. The report, published on July 4, 2021, quoted SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary who claimed that the workers were lathi-charged in Lucknow, Prayagraj, Pratapgarh, Kaushambi and other districts.
Conducting a keyword search across Twitter with the relevant keywords, we came across this video uploaded by the official Twitter handle of the Samajwadi Party. The video was uploaded on July 3, 2021 and was shared with the following caption:
"The barbaric lathi charge of the police on the SP workers on the orders of the Chief Minister in Prayagraj is highly condemnable! The hollow celebration of victory achieved by suppression of power will not last long. The youth, farmers, women, and daughters of the state will form the SP government in 2022."
To geolocate the video, we went through the video observing the details of the location closely. At the start of the video, we noticed a store with a red banner named "Chappan Bhog". We conducted a keyword search across Google and came across this shop located in Prayagraj.
We came across the image of the shop on Google Maps as well. As can be seen, the objects at the location match up with the scenes recorded in the viral video. Below you can see the comparison.
It is evident from our investigation that the viral incident of lathi charge depicted in the video was filmed in July 2021. The incident occurred after the demonstration carried out by Samajwadi workers in the District Panchayat elections, where police lashed out at them with sticks. The incident took place in Prayagraj and not Varanasi which is where the Gyanvapi mosque is located. Hence, the viral claim is false.
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