A two-minute clip of a crowd breaking into a polling booth has been shared by several Twitter users with the claim that it shows an incident from West Bengal’s Cooch Behar. “Excellent job done by CRPF in pushing away the goons,” reads the message.

Twitter user @TNSubbaRao posted the video on April 12. Since then it has been viewed over 10,000 times.

Some Facebook users have posted the video along with Bengali text (1, 2) that alleges the video shows violence in Cooch Behar’s Sitalkuchi where four people were killed in CISF firing. One Haradhan Ghosh’s post gained over 50,000 views before it was taken down.

(Viral Bengali text: শীতলকুচির একটি বুথের একটি ছোট্ট ভিডিও, দেখে নিন সে সময় কেমন পরিস্থিতি ছিলm #ভোটদানকারী আর #ভোটলুঠকারীর মধ্যে যদি আমরা পার্থক্য করতে না পারি এবং সব গুলিয়ে ফেলি তবে কিন্তু আমরা আবার ভুল করব॥)

 

শীতলকুচির একটি বুথের একটি ছোট্ট ভিডিও, দেখে নিন সে সময় কেমন পরিস্থিতি ছিল॥
#ভোটদানকারী আর #ভোটলুঠকারীর মধ্যে যদি আমরা পার্থক্য করতে না পারি এবং সব গুলিয়ে ফেলি তবে কিন্তু আমরা আবার ভুল করব॥

Posted by Bhaskar Samanta on Monday, 12 April 2021

Fact-check

After performing multiple reverse image searches we found that the video in question was uploaded in 2019 on YouTube. Around the 20-second mark, a text appears on the video that states it’s from Kyamgei Muslim village in Manipur. This led us to report by The Indian Express from April 18, 2019. “CRPF​ personnel opened blank fire and resorted to lathi-charge to disperse a crowd in Manipur​. The crowd allegedly tried to barge into Kyamgei Muslim Makha Leikaik polling station of Inner Manipur seat,” according to the report. The incident pertains to the 2019 general elections.

East Mojo and Firstpost had also reported on the incident. East Mojo’s tweet said, “Voters get angry and storm into polling booth destroying EVMs and VVPAT machines following alleged EVM malfunction at 6/10 Kyamgei Muslim Makha Leikai polling station.”

Firstpost tweeted a different video from the same location.

Thus, a video of violence during polling in the 2019 elections was shared with the false claim that it shows the violence that took place in West Bengal’s Cooch Behar. The incident is from Manipur’s Kiyamgei Muslim Makha Leikai.

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About the Author

Archit is a fact-checking journalist at Alt News since November 2019. Previously, he has worked as a producer at a TV news channel and as a reporter at a leading English-language daily. In addition to work experience in media, he has also worked as a fundraising and communication manager at an NGO.