“Indian Police beating Muslim in mosque while offering prayer,” is the caption used by several Pakistani Twitter users to share a video of police lathi-charge. From the Twitter handle of one @javaidShaikh, the clip attracted over 13,000 views (archive).

@javaidShaikh’s tweet was quote-tweeted by Hanif Qadir whose bio says that he is the CEO of a UK Youth Charity – Active Change Foundation. The website of the charity says that Qadir was a former member of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan but turned his back on the terrorist organisation upon witnessing crimes committed against civilians. Since then, as claimed by the website, Qadir and his charity help safeguard youth in the UK from similar experiences.

Other individual users have also shared the same video, drawing thousands of views (1, 2). A Turkish Twitter handle EHA News circulated the video with a similar claim.

We found that the video was also uploaded on YouTube last year with an identical narrative.

2018 video from Uttar Pradesh

Alt News broke up the video into individual frames using InVid software, and reverse searched the images via Google. We found that a Facebook page Bytes Today had shared the video on June 12, 2018, and described it as – “SSP office Aligarh: Police lathi charge on Hindu Jagran Manch coterie.”

Lathicharge at SSP office ligarh On Hindu Jagran Manch Mmebers

SSP office Aligarh: Police lathi charge on Hindu Jagran Manch coterie.
Video Cr- जनपत्र – Janpatr

Posted by Bytes Today on Tuesday, 12 June 2018

The incident in question had occurred when activists of the Hindu Jagran Manch (HJM) staged a protest outside the SSP’s office. ANI, The Times of India, and The Indian Express were among the many media outlets that reported the incident. The video posted below depicts the same event shot from a different angle.

Hindutva outfit HJM is affiliated to the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP). On June 12, 2018, its workers forcibly locked the gate of the SSP’s office while demanding the arrest of a man booked for attempt to murder. The Indian Express had reported that the man was a cinema hall owner who had open-fired at two members of HJM three months ago. According to The Times of India, SP (crime) Ashutosh Dwivedi assured the protesters that he will personally look into the probe after they claimed that the police was not investigating the case properly. The TOI report further stated that “moderate” force was used to disperse the protestors when they did not heed to police’s requests and “misbehaved” with the general public.

Shared with varied narratives

Alt News has debunked this video three times in the past –

June 2018: When Rajasthan Congress committee general secretary shared it as police lathi-charge in the state.

August 2018: Two months later, the video was viral as police lathi-charge on youth sitting on a dharna outside UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s residence.

February 2019: Earlier this year, it was shared as police lathi-charge on youth protesting in Andhra Pradesh.

It is common for old, unrelated videos to resurface on social media with changed narratives. Social media users are advised to perform a quick Google search to verify their authenticity.

About the Author

Pooja Chaudhuri is a senior editor at Alt News.