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A 27-second video post claiming to show a Tablighi Jamaat member, linked to the congregation at Markaz Nizamuddin, spitting on police officers is being shared extensively on online platforms. In the video, the accused can be seen in a white coloured t-shirt spitting on the police in a van.
The Logical Indian received several fact-check requests about the video on the dedicated Fact check WhatsApp number.
According to an India Today report, many of the members of Tablighi Jamaat who attended the congregation last month died of COVID-19 infection, while more than a thousand were tested positive and treated. Police have also issued a look-out-circular against some 2,000 Tablighi Jamaat leaders, including foreign nationals, to prevent them from leaving the country.
The video was shared by Facebook user Jogesh Halder with the text: For those who want proof, watch this video of Nizamuddin's Jamaat spit on policemen (Translated to English).
The user claims to be a worker of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The video has over 50,000 views and 3,000 shares on the platform.
Further, the same video was shared with the different text: Those who need proof, see this. The misdeeds of angels. Peacefully introducing spit (Translated to English).
The same text was also being used to falsely link two other videos to Muslims abetting the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in India. These videos have been debunked by The Logical Indian which can be accessed here and here.
Tablighi Jammat member spitting on police personnel.
The claim is false.
In the video, the alleged COVID-19 infected suspect appears to be transported to an unknown location in a moving van. The Indian government's guidelines titled, "Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the transport of a suspected/confirmed case of COVID-19", section 3, reads as follows: "Ideally, there should be ambulances identified specifically for transporting COVID-19 suspect patients or those who have developed complications, to the health facilities........The patient and attendant should be provided with a triple-layer mask and gloves. Simple public health measures like hand hygiene, respiratory etiquettes, etc. need to be adhered by all."
On examining the video, one can observe the absence of any medical personnel or pieces of equipment aforementioned in the SOP document. However excess police personnel can be spotted in the video. This led us to the clue that the vehicle in the video may be a police van.
Besides, a keyword search on YouTube for "man spitting in a police van" led us to a video report published by Times of India on 3 March 2020. When compared, the visuals in the report tend to match those of the viral video. Whereas the Markaz Nizamuddin incident was reported in the last week of March.
The TOI story claims that the under-trial allegedly assaulted and spat on a few members of the Mumbai police. He was reportedly angry with the authorities for not allowing him to have access to home-cooked food. An under-trial is a person who is being held in custody pending trial for a crime.
We can ascertain that the claim made about the video is misleading and seems to be another effort to falsely link an unrelated video to the Tablighi Jamaat community. Following the incident at Markaz Nizamuddin, there is a rise in misinformation targeting the Muslim community in India. The Logical Indian Team has debunked several such attempts that can be accessed on our dedicated fact-check section.
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