A 28-second-long video clip where police officers in riot gear can be seen brutally thrashing a man is viral on social media. It is being claimed that a local leader had challenged the UP police that a survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque will not be allowed to take place so the police “served” him on the spot.

The video has been shared by various Twitter users.

The viral video is also circulating on Facebook with the same claim.

The video is being shared in the context of the Gyanvapi Mosque, which was built by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb and many Hindus believe it is standing on top of a temple of Lord Shiva. The mosque has been under the media scanner for over a month now and as per a report by Article 14, there are 12 similar petitions in at least four states across India that make the same claims over mosques and Islamic-era monuments.

Fact-check

We broke down the video into keyframes and ran a Google reverse image search on one of the stills. This led us to a tweet by the Samajwadi Party carrying the same video. The tweet was made in July 2021, meaning, it is at least a year old and is not related to the recent news cycle.

The tweet in Hindi reads, “The lathi-charge by police against SP workers in Prayagraj upon the orders of the chief minister is highly condemnable. The hollow celebration of victory achieved by suppression of power will not last long. The youth, the farmers, the women, and the daughters of the state will form the SP government in 2022”.

Taking this clue, we performed a keyword search and came across a news report by Navbharat Times. As per the report, the police lathi-charged SP workers after they carried out a protest over allegations of irregularities in the counting of votes during the election of the District Panchayat Chairperson in Prayagraj, UP.

Similarly, a report by Hindustan Times published on July 4, 2021, mentioned that the SP has alleged that its party workers were lathi-charged in most districts of the state when the district panchayat chairpersons’ elections were taking place.

Moreover, in the viral video, a store’s name is clearly visible. The board reads “छप्पन भोग” [Chappan Bhog]. Rummaging through Google Maps, one can very easily find the store, located in Prayagraj.

To sum it up, an old video where police can be seen lathi charging SP workers was falsely linked to the Gyanvapi Mosque case.

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About the Author

Kalim is a journalist with a keen interest in tech, misinformation, culture, etc