Did Mumbai's Police Commissioner Broadcast A Video Announcing A Terror Alert? | BOOM
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Did Mumbai’s Police Commissioner Broadcast A Video Announcing A Terror Alert?

Did Mumbai’s Police Commissioner Broadcast A Video Announcing A Terror Alert?

BOOM found out that the man in the video is not Mumbai’s Police Commissioner, but a retired Brigadier of the Indian Armed Forces.

image shows Mumbai CP Sanjay Barve and Brig Hemant Mahajan

A video of a man claiming that Pakistan’s Inter-State Intelligence (ISI) is organising a series of attacks around India has gone viral on social media. The caption shared with the video falsely attributes it to the Police Commissioner of Mumbai.

BOOM found out that the person in the video is actually an individual named Brigadier Hemant Mahajan (retd.).

Mumbai Under Threat?

On August 10, 2019, BOOM spotted a few videos where a man is seen speaking, in Marathi, about a possible terror threat in several Indian cities.

The man claims that 19 cities in India are under the threat of a potential terror attack organised by Pakistan’s ISI, and goes on to request citizens to be vigilant.

The caption shared with the video states the following:

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“Mumbai Police commissioner
Total Mumbai under tereist attek be careful . Total railway station. Total bar . or Dance bar . Red light plesh .or any talkies. Oditoriuym. Or total public place. Please forward to all group. Jay Hind Jay Maharashtra.”

Upon searching on Facebook with keywords taken from the caption, we found out that the video is viral on the social media platform with the same caption.

Image shows Facebook search results
Facebook search results

Following the latest steps by the Indian government with regards to the abrogation of Article 370, and a strong reaction by the Pakistani government, Indian Navy has been on high alert in the west coast.

However, did Mumbai’s Commissioner of Police really broadcast the video to announce an alert?

Fact Check

BOOM noticed that the man in the video does not resemble Mumbai’s Police Commissioner, Sanjay Barve.

Image shows Mumbai PC Sanjay Barve
Left: Sanjay Barve, Police Commissioner of Mumbai; Right: Man in the video

BOOM reached out to the office of the Commissioner of Police of Mumbai for a statement. The article will be updated upon receiving a response.

Who’s The Man In The Video?

One of BOOM’s fact checkers recognised the man in the video as Brigadier Hemant Mahajan (retd.), who frequently makes and distributes videos through WhatsApp, where he comments on various defence and security related topics.

Image shows An article by Hindustan Times, carrying a photo of Brigadier Mahajan (retd.).
An article by Hindustan Times, carrying a photo of Brigadier Mahajan (retd.).

On August 8, 2019, several BOOM reporters who have been in touch with Mahajan have also received the video in question, directly from him.

Image shows Screenshot of WhatsApp message containing the video, sent by Brigadier Mahajan (retd.).
Screenshot of WhatsApp message containing the video, sent by Brigadier Mahajan (retd.).

BOOM reached out to Mahajan to ascertain the source for his claims, but was unable to get a reply. The article will be updated upon receiving a response.

However, it is certain that Mumbai’s Commissioner of Police did not issue a terror alert in this video, as the man in the video has been confirmed as Brigadier Hemant Mahajan (retd.).


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Claim Review : Mumbai's Commissioner of Police announces broadcasts a video to announce terror alert

Fact Check : False


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Archis is a fact-checker and reporter at BOOM. He has previously worked as a journalist for broadsheet newspapers and in communications for a social start-up incubator. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Sciences Po Paris and a Master's in Media and Political Communication from the University of Amsterdam.

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