No, Jalandhar police did not lathi-charge air force aspirants; no reported deaths due to electrocution

The video posted below is viral on social media with the claim that the people seen fallen on the road were air force aspirants. It further suggests that due to high unemployment in the country, a huge crowd of youth had gathered for admissions and the police in Jalandhar had to control them by resorting to lathi-charge. They were caught on a live wire while trying to escape and many of them lost their lives, the claim concludes.

The video with the accompanying text has been widely circulated on Facebook and Twitter. Alt News also received verification requests on its mobile app.

Fact-check

Alt News broke down the video into multiple frames and performed a reverse image search to discover that social media claims are false. Jalandhar police did not lathi-charge the aspirants but 21 youths were injured when a wall collapsed at Punjab Armed Police (PAP) ground at Jalandhar on August 5. Two of the youths were also electrocuted as a live wire broke, reported The Times of Indiaadding that “thousands of youths had come to participate in the recruitment rally and according to sources and several of them were standing against the wall which collapsed.” There were no reported deaths.

The incident was covered across media outlets. ANI reported, “According to locals the students were forced to wait in long queues and roads due to lack of proper seating and waiting facilities in the premises.”

According to a local report in The Tribunethe boundary wall was 5.5km and was recently fitted with barbed wires to strengthen it. “But today’s incident showed as to how fragile the walls of the highly secured area were. Even as just about 30-40 youths reportedly leaned on it, the wall gave in making the access open to the compound,” the report furthered. The police maintained that excess weight led to the collapse.

Social media claims suggesting that youth in Punjab lost their lives due to police lathi-charge and subsequent electrocution during air force recruitment drive in Jalandhar are false. There have been no reported deaths and the injuries were caused due to the collapse of the PAP wall which seems to have been constructed poorly.

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