The consecration of the idol of Hindu deity Ram at the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya took place on January 22 amid the performance of rituals and with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in attendance. The temple has been built on the erstwhile disputed land where the Babri Masjid was pulled down on December 6, 1992. This had led to unrest in Ayodhya which reached other cities in the country. Mumbai, then Bombay, was the worst hit where communal riots claimed over 900 lives.
On January 21 and 22, 2024, even as the consecration ceremony was underway, clashes between Hindus and Muslims broke out in the northern Mumbai suburbs of Mira Road. The Quint reported that a bike rally by Hindus chanting ‘Jai Sri Ram’ was passing through a Muslim locality and as per a local’s account, tension arose between the two communities when the bike rally reached a dead end near a mosque.
Against the backdrop of these clashes, several visuals have come forward as footage related to the Mira Road clash.
1. Police Thrash Rioters in Lockup
A video of two policemen beating up people in a lockup is being widely shared with the claim that the men who are being beaten up by the police in the video are from Mira Road.
X (formerly Twitter) user Kartik😼🇮🇳🚩(@_Muffin_Men) shared the above-mentioned video clip on January 25 mentioning ‘Mira Road’ in his caption. The tweet has been viewed over 3.7 Lakh times and has been retweeted over 3,000 times. (Archive)
— Kartik😼🇮🇳🚩 (@_Muffin_Men) January 25, 2024
After breaking down the clip into several key frames, we ran reverse image searches on some of them, which led us to a news report by Jagran from June 12, 2022. The title of the report in Hindi can be translated as: “Strict action against riots in Saharanpur, 64 sent to jail, houses of two bulldozed”. The report carried an image similar to the first frame of the viral video, where several men could be seen inside the lockup.
We noticed several similarities between the two frames. This proves that this visual is from 2022 and not related to the recent clashes in Mira Road.
A reverse image search on another key frame from the video led us to a news report by Times Now from June 12, 2022, where the title said: “Video of UP cops thrashing protesters in a lock-up sparks row; BJP says ‘return gift to rioters'”. The video carried a screengrab from the viral video that showed the cops beating up the men they apprehended.
The report mentioned that the video was shot in a police station in Saharanpur where communal clashes broke out between after now-suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s comment against Prophet Muhammad of Islam. The men in the video are said to be the rioters.
Hence, it is clear that the viral video does not show the police thrashing rioters who were involved in the Mira Road clashes. The video is two-year-old and unrelated to the Mira Road incident.
2. Police Knock Down Doors to Nab Rioters
A video of the police apprehending some men is being shared on social media with the claim that the men were involved in the Mira Road riots.
X (formerly Twitter) user Lokesh Yadav (@Lokeshy49599209) shared the above-mentioned clip on January 24 with the following caption: “Those who attacked Ram Yatra on 22nd in Mira Nair area of Mumbai were picked up from their home today. Much respect! Now there is a reward for breaking the backyard!”. The tweet has been viewed over 7.5 lakh times and retweeted over 3000 times. (Archive)
Those who attacked Ram Yatra on 22nd in Mira Nair area of Mumbai were picked up from their home today.
Much respect! Now there is a reward for breaking the backyard!
#planecrash #ICCAwards #MiraRoad #TejRan #AusOpen #INDvENG
#Saipallavi #हेमंता_की_ले_ली #MiraRoadRiots pic.twitter.com/PSncOmP9bm
— Lokesh Yadav (@Lokeshy49599209) January 24, 2024
We broke down the video into several key frames and ran a reverse image search on some of them which led us to a tweet from August 24, 2022, by journalist Yunus Lasania that carried the viral video. The tweet mentioned that the visuals were from Hyderabad where police had barged into the houses of some protesters who were demonstrating against T Raja Singh for allegedly passing derogatory comments about the Prophet of Islam.
— Yunus Lasania (@YunusLasania) August 24, 2022
Therefore, the viral video showing police barging into houses is not related to the Mira Road riots in any way.
3. Railway Station on Fire
A 12-second clip of a fire in a railway station is being widely shared on social media with the claim that the visuals depict the condition at the Mira Road railway station.
X user 𝗦𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗸𝗲𝗢𝗚𝗲𝗻𝗶𝘂𝘀✍ 🇮🇳 (@Stroke0Genius41) shared the above-mentioned clip on January 24 with the following caption: “Current Situation of #MiraRoad Railway Station.. 🤔 #MiraRoadRiots”. The tweet has been viewed over 5.6 lakh times and has been retweeted over 400 times. (Archive)
Current Situation of #MiraRoad Railway Station..
— 𝗦𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗸𝗲𝗢𝗚𝗲𝗻𝗶𝘂𝘀✍ 🇮🇳 (@Stroke0Genius41) January 24, 2024
Several other users shared the same clip on X with similar captions.
We noticed that under @Stroke0Genius41’s tweet, the official X page of Western Railway commented that the claim was false and that the situation at the Mira Road railway station was normal.
The page also proceeded to share a video from the Mira Road station from the day of the viral claim which showed that the situation at the railway station was calm.
— Western Railway (@WesternRly) January 24, 2024
Further, we ran a reverse image search on a key frame of the viral clip and that led us to a YouTube video by Sangbad Pratidin from April 23, 2023. The title of the video said: “Massive fire break out in Santoshpur station”. The YouTube video carried the viral clip, which shows that the visuals are not recent and hence, not related to Mira Road clashes.
We also ran a relevant keyword search and found several news reports regarding the fire at Kolkata’s Santoshpur Railway Station in April, 2023. The Times of India also carried the same video in their report.
Hence, the claim that the visuals of the fire in a railway station are from Mira Road is false. The incident is from Santoshpur railway station in West Bengal and happened in 2023.
4. Idol of Ram Vandalised on Mira Road
A video of a man climbing up on a huge idol of Hindu deity Ram and attempting to vandalize it is being shared on social media. Users are claiming that the incident is from Mira Road.
A premium subscriber on X, Kikki Singh (@singh_kikki), shared the viral video in question on January 23 with a caption in Hindi that can be translated as: “All these Babar descendants of Mira Road do such things and then beat them up and then say that it was not their fault at all.” The tweet has received over 2.6 Lakh views and has been retweeted over 1,300 times. (Archive)
यह सभी मीरा रोड के बाबर वंशज ऐसी हरकतें करते हैं उसके बाद कुटाते फिर कहते हैं कि हमारी तो गलती थी ही नहीं pic.twitter.com/2DbDoLgL1H
— Kikki Singh (@singh_kikki) January 23, 2024
Several other users also shared similar claims connecting the incident to the unrest at Mumbai’s Mira Road.
We broke down the video into multiple key frames and ran reverse image searches on some of them. We found an Instagram post by @truthanidare from January 21 which featured the same video from a different angle. The caption of the post mentioned that the incident was from Amrit Mahotsav Mela in Ayodhya.
View this post on Instagram
Taking a cue from the above we ran a relevant keyword search in Hindi that led us to a Facebook reel shared by Jagadguru Rambhadracharya Ji’s official Facebook page on January 16. The reel consisted of visuals from the Amrit Mahotsav Mela that was held in Ayodhya. It also featured the same Ram statue as in the viral video.
We also found the same visuals of the idol of Hindu deity Ram in a vlog by a YouTube channel called Ayodhya Nagri 92, the video was published on January 15. The title of the video said: “Amrit Mahotsav in Ayodhya has begun”.
The above findings make it clear that the Ram idol featured in the viral video is not from Mira Road, it is from Ayodhya’s Amrit Mahotsav Mela.
Further, we found another video by a YouTuber called Vlogger Shiva that showcased the incident of the man climbing on the statue and attempting to vandalise it. The video had been shot from a different angle than the viral video.
In the vlog, policemen could be seen rushing towards the scene of the incident and we noticed that their uniforms had ‘Uttar Pradesh Police’ written on them in Hindi.
Hence, it is clear that the claim that the visual of the Ram idol being vandalised is from Mira Road is false, the incident happened in Ayodhya.
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people start contributing towards the same. Please consider donating towards this endeavour to fight fake news and misinformation.