During the May 1 broadcast of News18 Hindi’s debate show ‘Aar Paar’, moderator Amish Devgan played a video of an altercation between locals in a Muslim-dominated area in Kurla Pipe Road and Mumbai police. “There is big news coming from Kurla. A huge crowd has assembled from the mosque after namaz. The police was manhandled when they reached the area. We are showing you these visuals…” said Devgan, 33 minutes into the broadcast.

News18 had also tweeted the said portion of the broadcast claiming that police was manhandled in Mumbai’s Kurla while dispersing a crowd that emerged from a mosque. The tweet was later taken down.

The clip is floating on social media with the same claim. One Yana Mir on Twitter claimed that the police was abused because they stopped locals from offering Friday prayers.

A Facebook user Kanchan Gaikwad wrote, “Kurla for friday namaz.”


Kurla for friday namaz Niket Aggarwal

Posted by Kanchan Gaikwad on Friday, 1 May 2020


Alt News reached out to Mumbai police and was sent a press release dated May 2, 2020. According to the press release, the incident occurred on Wednesday, April 29. This debunks the first part of the claim that “Friday prayers” led to the scuffle.

The press release says that sub-inspector Kakasaheb Nagwe and his team was patrolling in Kurla Pipe Road when Rizwan Zuber Memon alias Rizwan Tunda began abusing them from the second floor of a building. He asked the cops to not shut down shops in the locality. Rizwan claimed that he works with the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and threatened the policemen of getting them fired from their jobs. A crowd gathered due to the commotion and Rizwan fled the scene. An FIR was filed against him under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Disaster Management Act and Maharashtra COVID-19 Prevention Measures. Therefore, the second claim that the altercation was between worshippers exiting a mosque and the police is also false. This was also pointed out by Twitter user @adil14384.

According to ANI, the police is yet to arrest the accused. PTI also covered the incident. Ironically, its feed, which has no mention of ‘Friday prayers’ or ‘mosque’, was republished by News18. The report quotes an official saying, “The incident took place in Bafati Lane on Pipe Road when a police team led by a sub-inspector asked locals to adhere to the lockdown rules.”

News18 anchor Amish Devgan falsely claimed during a broadcast that policemen were manhandled in Kurla, Mumbai while attempting to disperse a crowd gathered at a mosque during the lockdown.

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About the Author

Pooja Chaudhuri is a senior editor at Alt News.