“दंगा भड़काने वाले सपा के कैबिनेट मंत्री कमाल अख्तर को UP पुलिस ने बीच सड़क पर गद्दे और रजाई की तरह धोया गया। इस सुंदर दृश्य को शेयर कीजिये Translation: SP Cabinet Minister Kamal Akhtar beaten up black and blue by UP Police for inciting riots”. A video is viral with the aforementioned text. A Facebook page called ‘Narendra Modi for 2019 PM’ shared this video on their timeline on 20th November and it got liked over 65 thousand times, shared close to 20 thousand times and viewed more than 1.6 million times.
दंगा भड़काने वाले सपा के कैबिनेट मंत्री कमाल अख्तर को बीच सड़क पर गद्दे और रजाई की तरह धोया गया।
Posted by Narendra Modi for 2019 PM on Sunday, November 19, 2017
The earliest public instance of this video was found on Twitter on November 16th and was posted by a Twitter handle called @IamShubhJ. However, it is quite possible that this video was viral on WhatsApp even before November 16th.
At least two people whom PM Narendra Modi follows on Twitter, Gaurav Pradhan and Hardik Bhatt, also shared this video on their timelines.
Even though this video was shared initially in mid-November, it is still viral on social media and is being shared actively everyday. The text accompanying the video is identical across all the posts which suggests that this video is viral on WhatsApp and people are copy-pasting the text while uploading the video to their Facebook timelines.
However, this video is not of a SP cabinet minister beaten up for inciting riots. This video has been available on YouTube for over six years. The video that is being shared on social media is a clipped portion of the following YouTube Video which was posted on April 24, 2011.
According to the description provided in the video above, it is Raja Chaturvedi of Samajwadi Party who was being roughed up by Uttar Pradesh Police on Feb 21, 2011 in front of UP assembly. While no contemporary news reports state that Raja Chaturvedi was beaten up, in a news report in Indian Express on Feb 23, 2011, Shivpal Singh Yadav alleges that multiple SP MLAs and workers were roughed up while protesting against Mayawati Government.
The Indian Express report states, “The Samajwadi Party on Tuesday alleged that the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party had unleashed goondas for forcible eviction of its MLAs from the state Assembly late Monday night when they were protesting against the abrupt adjournment of the House and passage of a bill paving the way for indirect election of mayors and presidents of various municipalities in the state.”
Based on the news report, the description provided along with the YouTube video seems genuine.
This is not the first time that this particular video has gone viral. In the month of September, immediately after the conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the above video went viral with the following text, “MLA of Raniya Haryana, who came to Panchkula to support Dera Pramukh, Haryana Police informed Army, Then Army did memorable Bhangra dance with BJP MLA: His name is Ram Chand Kamboj.”
This is also not the first instance of an identical video being shared multiple times with different false narratives. Alt News had shown how the same 11 second video had been circulated with three different portrayals – as a Hindu man being killed by Muslims in Nawada, Bihar, as a Hindu man being killed by Muslims in West Bengal and as a CRPF Jawan being beaten up by Kashmiri students. There are multiple vested interests at play who are misinterpreting such videos for ulterior motives and in the process, spreading prejudice, hate and fear. The obstinacy with which such videos continue to be circulated poses a challenge not only for law enforcement agencies but also threatens the tender social fabric of the nation. Viewers must be circumspect when such videos are received as there is ample scope for misinformation and rumour mongering.
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