“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).
— جاوید شیخ (@javaidShaikh) March 24, 2019
@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.
This clearly is Terrorism. Terrorising people who are merely praying in a place of worship! Yet India (Modi) have the audacity to call on others to stop terrorism. @ukhomeoffice @sajidjavid https://t.co/M3YxHdzIQ2
— Hanif Qadir (@HanifQadir) March 24, 2019
📌#India|n police attacked praying Muslims in a mosque…
▪️Far-right Hindu attacks targeting the Muslim population in the country are on the rise latterly pic.twitter.com/1k4D7UTOQk
— EHA News (@eha_news) March 24, 2019
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.”
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.
#WATCH: Police baton charge on members of Hindu Jagran Manch who were protesting outside the office of Aligarh Senior Superintent of Police (SSP), demanding the arrest of accused who had attacked one of their members. pic.twitter.com/vJkqoWxUkT
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) June 12, 2018
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.
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