The recent communal violence in northeast Delhi has given rise to a plethora of misinformation circulated via images and videos. A 25-second clip of police lathi-charging a large crowd of Muslims has been shared by several people, many of whom seem to be celebrating the police excess. “Cleaning drive has been started in Delhi. #DelhiRiots (दिल्ली में सफाई अभियान शुरू दे सटा सट. #DelhiRiots).” wrote Rahul Awasthi, who self-identifies as social media in-charge of Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), while sharing the clip on both Facebook and Twitter.
— Rahul Awasthi (@irahulawasthi) February 26, 2020
Alt News broke down the video into multiple keyframes and reverse-searched each of them on Google. One such keyframe (highlighted below) threw up relevant search results.
We were redirected to two-month-old links which meant that the video cannot depict police excess during the recent communal riots in Delhi.
Facebook page ‘Rana JD’ shared the video on December 25, 2019, with the hashtag #SHAMEONINDIA.
A subsequent keyword search on Youtube led us to a longer version of the clip shared by the channel ‘SPN News’ on December 20, 2019. According to the channel, the police lathi-charge was during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Bulandshahr.
After the Citizenship Bill was passed in the Parliament, several districts of Uttar Pradesh, including Bulandshahr, witnessed violent protests. According to a report in The Wire, at least 18 civilians lost their lives in the clashes.
A video of police lathi-charge during anti-CAA protests in UP’s Bulanshahr has been circulated online as Delhi police.
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people start contributing towards the same. Please consider donating towards this endeavour to fight fake news and misinformation.