A news broadcast of a speech by SP leader Kamal Akhtar has been making the rounds online. He is heard saying that to date no IPS, PCS or officer has had the courage to refuse him. This video has been taken from an ABP News broadcast and it is followed by another clip wherein the police are seen beating a man with sticks. It’s being claimed that UP police personnel beat Akhtar over his remarks. The accompanying viral message reads, “Yogi is not just a Yogi.”

User Arun Shukla shared the visuals with the same claim. (Archive link)

Another Twitter user also amplified the clip and accompanying message. (Archive link)

The video is widespread on Facebook and Twitter.

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Alt News found the original ABP Ganga broadcast dated April 9, 2021. Scenes from the viral video appear at the 1:18 mark. The video is titled, “SP leader in Amroha gives a controversial speech, says no officer has the courage to refuse me”.

Alt News had already fact-checked the second video shared with the broadcast back in December 2017. At that time too, it was shared with the claim that Akhtar had been beaten up by the UP police. This video uploaded on April 25, 2011, actually features SP leader Raja Chaturvedi. It is titled, “Samajwadi Party leader Raja Chaturvedi 21 February 2011 at Vidhan Sabha UP”. YouTube has banned this video, but you can access it in full here.

According to an Indian Express report dated February 23, 2011, Samajwadi Party leaders opposing the then Mayawati-led state government were thrashed by cops. It is also mentioned that SP had accused the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party of resorting to hooliganism by forcibly driving away MLAs who had been protesting against them in the assembly.

A video of SP leaders being lathi-charged for staging a demonstration in 2011 has been circulating over the last five years with the false claim that the UP police beat up SP leader Kamal Akhtar. It was revived after Akhtar’s speech in April 2021.

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About the Author

Kinjal Parmar holds a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology. However, her keen interest in journalism, drove her to pursue journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication. At Alt News since 2019, she focuses on authentication of information which includes visual verification, media misreports, examining mis/disinformation across social media. She is the lead video producer at Alt News and manages social media accounts for the organization.