Even as the Congress picked Siddaramaiah as the chief minister for Karnataka after its victory in the assembly polls, several videos of interactions of mostly Muslim men with the police emerged on social media with captions suggesting that the situation of Karnataka is already getting worse within days of the Congress coming to power.

Claim I: Congress Leaders Dictating Terms to Karnataka Police

A video is being shared on social media where a group of men claimed to be Congress members can be seen. Among them, the one posing as the leader is apparently arguing with the Karnataka police. The claims suggest that the leader has invited the police to their home to say that things will be done as he says.

Twitter user विधी दीक्षित52 also shared the video in question on May 16 with a caption in Hindi that says, “Karnataka: Congress MLA “Zafar Hussain Meraj” Jachatiyal (Nampally MLA) called a police officer to his home and explained in a ‘peaceful’ manner that things will be done the way he says”. The tweet has received over 70,000 views and has been retweeted over 2,000 times. (Archive)

Twitter Blue user ‘ProfKapilKumar,Determined Nationalist’ who has more than 20,000 followers on the platform, also shared the above video on May 17 with a caption in Hindi that said, “You have to act as we tell you. In Karnataka, a Congress MLA called a police officer to his home and explains to him in a peaceful way. 😂😂😡😡😂😂”. (Archive)

G V Nair, who is also a Twitter Blue user, posted the video with the above caption. (Archive)

Multiple other users, including @angryladki, @Sarvesh38453373, @SKishor_ and @SinghOfMaha, shared the video on various social media platforms. Some of them can be seen below:

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Fact Check

On running a reverse image search, we came across a news report by Deccan Chronicle from May 11 that carried a screenshot of the viral video. The report headline says: “Jagtial rural SI who attacked woman & her mother suspended”. The caption of the image carried in the article said, “MIM leaders meet Police Superintendent A Bhaskar in his office regarding the attack on a student and her mother in an RTC bus.”

According to the DC report, on May 11, A Anil, a sub-inspector of police at Jagtial (a city in Telangana), was suspended on the charge of attacking two women passengers — mother and daughter — in an RTC bus. The report also mentioned that earlier on the same day of the SI’s suspension, Nampally MLA and AIMIM leader Jaffar Hussain Meraj and the district unit president Younus Nadeem visited the house of the woman involved in the row, who is also a postgraduate student.

The MLA also tweeted the above on May 11. (Archive)

We also noticed a few things in the viral video —

1. The AIMIM symbol on the top right corner of the video

2. Mention of the MLA’s name and the place

The text in the video clearly states, “Jafar Hussain Meraj Sb (MLA, Nampally) in Jagtial” indicating that the incident is from Telangana.

Therefore, it is clear that the video is not from Karnataka, but from Telangana and it features AIMIM leader Jaffar Hussain Meraj with other party members talking to the Telangana police about SI Anil’s suspension.

Claim II: Congress Supporters Threaten Karnataka Police

A 15-second long video of a man in a skullcap threatening a policeman is being shared on social media with a caption in Hindi that says, “Congress’ win: The chief minister hasn’t even taken oath yet and this is the situation in Karnataka”.

Twitter Blue user Vini shared the said video on May 15 with the above caption in Hindi. (Archive)

Another Twitter user called Naren Mukherjee also shared the above video with a similar claim. (Archive)

Many other users also shared the video in question with similar claims on social media.

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Fact Check

First, we noticed that under Naren Mukherjee’s tweet, a few users had commented that the video is old and some even mentioned that it is from Maharashtra.

To check this, we broke down the video into multiple key-frames and ran a reverse image search on a few of them. This led us to a longer version of the viral video on a Facebook post made on September 20, 2018. We noticed that at the 0:20 mark of the video, one person speaks to the policeman in Marathi.

Dhuley Maharashtra.

Miya Bhai Bolteyyyyy Aandoooo!!!

Posted by Jubileehills Feroz Khan on Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Under the video, we also came across a comment made on March 9, 2021, that says in Marathi, “This video is from Chopda bus stand. It is from 3 years back. Everything happened because the fruit seller was hit by the police”.

With all the above information we ran a relevant keyword search on Facebook and came across videos posted in September 2018 about the incident.

We also contacted Chopda police station to confirm the fact and police personnel from the control room said that the incident was indeed from 2018 and it occurred at Chopda bus stand.

“Police constable Shrikhant Gangurde was posted on duty there and he asked the fruit sellers to move away from where they had set their stores within the bus stand since that area was reserved for the physically challenged people and that’s when the two got into a scuffle”: Chopda police station.

The control room also said that they had charged those those who caused trouble while Gangurde was on duty under IPC section 353 (assault or use of criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty), and the matter is still pending in court.

Therefore, the viral video of a skull-capped man threatening a policeman is not from Karnataka. It is a 2018 incident from Maharashtra.

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