“पहली बार मध्य प्रदेश के मंदसौर शेहर का गोली कांड video वायरल. देखिए किस तरहा मध्य प्रदेश की bjp सरकार ने मासूम किसानो पर अपनी क्रूरता का परिचय दिया था. किसान अपनी जाइज़ मांगे इस क्रूर सरकार से कर रहे थे, उन मांगो के बदले इस सरकार ने उन किसानो को मौत के नींद सुला दिया.” (For the first-time, a video of police firing in Mandsaur city of Madhya Pradesh goes viral. See how the Madhya Pradesh BJP government gave an introduction of their cruelty to the innocent farmers. The farmers were conveying their justified demands to this cruel government. Instead of fulfilling their demands this government gave them death. -translated) A video with the above text has been shared by a Facebook account. It may be recalled that in June 2017, a farmers’ agitation in Mandsaur, MP had resulted in police firing. Six people had died in the violence.

पहली बार मध्य प्रदेश के मंदसौर शेहर का गोली कांड video वायरल …देखिए किस तरहा मध्य प्रदेश की bjp सरकार ने मासूम किसानो पर अपनी क्रूरता का परिचय दिया था…. किसान अपनी जाइज़ मांगे इस क्रूर सरकार से कर रहे थे, उन मांगो के बदले इस सरकार ने उन किसानो को मौत के नींद सुला दिया…

Posted by Abhishek Mishra on Tuesday, 10 July 2018

As seen in the video, policemen are in a kneeling position with their guns pointed at a crowd which can be heard shouting some slogans. Some gunshots are fired at the horde and the assembly scatters, when the two men are apparently shot down. Policemen can be seen running with a stretcher to the spot. After a while, the police company starts marching in the direction in which people had escaped. Sometime later, an ambulance starts moving in the same direction with an announcement in the background.

Questions which arise from the video :

If you see the video, there are two stark observations which suggest that the video is a mock drill and not an actual police shooting:

  1. There are bystanders on both sides of the road who remain calm and still watching the police apparently shooting the two men. It is generally observed that in a situation of conflict, the crowd goes in a state of panic and people start dispersing when shots are fired.
  2. A public announcement saying, “एक बार पुनः मैं दर्शकों को बता दूँ. यह केवल एक डेमो था. जिसमें खूंटी पुलिस ने अपनी सक्रियता दिखाई कि किसी भी विषम परिस्तिथि से निपटने के लिए हमारे पुलिस हमेशा तत्पर और तैयार हैं. “(One more time, I inform the audience this is only a demo. In which Khunti police has displayed its agility and readiness to deal with any odd situation -translated.)

Multiple pages on Facebook have shared the video with the text claiming farmers are being shot by the Mandsaur police.

Moreover, Alt News found the same video captioned “Human rights in India. To shed light on the UNHRC report that was being shrugged by the GOI.” shared on a Facebook page, India Resists: updates and perspectives on people’s movements.

What is the truth?

Alt News did a Google reverse image search of the keyframes using Invid verification plugin. As it turned out, a YouTube video published on Nov 1, 2017, titled “Moke Dreal of Khunti Police” was found. The title calls it a mock drill carried out by Khunti Police.

Moreover, many name boards in the shops are visible in the video. Alt News Google searched the shop name, “Jagdamba steel Khunti” and found that the two match.

In a conversation with Alt News, the owner of Jagdamba Steel has confirmed that a mock drill was carried out by the police on October 31, 2017. It may be reiterated that an announcement in the background was enough to raise suspicion and contradiction to the claims made with the video.

From a different perspective

Furthermore, we found one more video of the same mock drill filmed from a different angle and time-frame. In the video, policemen on the standby position can be seen near a stage setup and importantly, the crowd stays well organized on the edges of the road throughout the mock drill.

  • The police parties come in succession one after another, no struggle amongst the engaging groups(0:40 to 1:27)
  • No traces of blood on the body of the two men which fall down after the gunshots (1:51)
  • A part of the announcement, “एक बार पुनः मैं दर्शकों को बता दूँ.” (2:32) makes it even more evident that it was a mock drill and not an actual police firing video

This post follows the same pattern of captioning a video with an unrelated narrative which gets shared by multiple users on different platforms. All such videos which turn out to be patently false are mostly found lacking in basic information or context. While police firing had indeed take place at the farmers’ agitation in Mandsaur last year, a closer look at this particular video would have revealed that the events depicted in it are not an actual incident of firing but only a simulation, as there were enough cues in it to suggest the same.

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About the Author

Jignesh is a writer and researcher at Alt News. He has a knack for visual investigation with a major interest in fact-checking videos and images. He has completed his Masters in Journalism from Gujarat University.