A viral video showing a mob vandalising vehicles is being shared on social media with communal captions falsely claiming that the clip shows retaliation by Hindu activists after Muslim men attacked Durga puja pandals in Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh.
BOOM found that the claim is false and the video shows an incident that took place in Kawardha, Chhatisgarh on October 5, 2021. BOOM also spoke to the local police in UP who refuted the viral claim.
According to news reports, violence marred Kawardha in Kabirdham district of Chhattisgarh during a rally organised by right-wing outfits. According to a report published in India Today on October 10, the rally was being organised as a protest against a clash between people from two communities 'over removal of religious flags from a thoroughfare in the town on October 3', causing destruction of properties. A curfew was imposed in the area following the violence.
However, the video from Chhattisgarh has gone viral with a fake claim that it shows Hindus retaliating after Muslims vandalised a Durga puja pandal.
A Facebook post shared the video with a Hindi caption which translates to 'People from the Muslim community entered a Durga puja pandal in Lalganj town of Pratapgarh and stopped the prayers and tore down the religious flags. Thereafter, Hindu activists got active. They pulled out every Muslim from their houses and thrashed them, tore down flags from mosques and vandalised their vehicles. The entire Muslim community has taken shelter in a police station. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has congratulated the Hindu youths for the incident. Share it brothers, Hindus are awakened now. Those who aren't' yet, we need to awaken them'.
(Hindi: प्रतापगढ़ जिले के लालगंज कस्बे में दुर्गा पूजा के पंडाल में घुस कर मुस्लिम समुदाय के लोगो ने पूजा बंद करवा दी और मां दुर्गा का पताका निकाल कर फेंक दिया, उसके बाद हिंदू संगठन सक्रिय हो गए, एक एक मुस्लिम को उनके घरों से निकाल कर बुरी तरह पीटा, मस्जितों के झंडे उखाड़ कर फेंक दिए गए कारों व मोटर साइकिलों को तोड़ फोड़ दिया गया, समस्त मुस्लिम समुदाय थाने में शरण लिए हुए है, उक्त घटना पर मुख्य मंत्री योगी आदित्यनाथ ने हर्ष व्यक्त करते हुए युवा हिंदुओ को बधाई दी, दबा के शेयर करो भाईयो हिंदू जाग रहा है जो सोए है उनको भी जगाना है)
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The same video is viral from multiple Twitter handles with similar claims.
BOOM watched the video closely and found that the vehicle registration number of the car being vandalised by the mob is from Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
Taking cue, BOOM did a Facebook search with related keywords and found the same video shared on October 6 and 7 with captions in Hindi claiming that they were from Kawardha in Chhattisgarh.
BOOM also did a keyword search on Twitter and found a tweet from the official handle of UP Police Fact Check stating that the viral video is from Kawardha, Chhattisgarh.
UPPOLICE FACT CHECK's tweet in Hindi translates to 'Regarding sharing an incident which took place in Kawardha, Chhattisgarh on 05.10.2021 with captions calling it an incident from Uttar Pradesh, Pratapgarh. @pratapgarhpol has refuted the claims and a case has been registered'.
The UP Police Fact Check team also tweeted the screenshot of the claim made with the video which is verbatim as the claim viral on social media with the video.
BOOM also contacted the Lalganj police station in Pratapgarh, UP. Police station in-charge Kamlesh Pal told BOOM that the claim made with the video is false.
"No such incident has taken place in Lalganj. Durga puja is being celebrated peacefully in Lalganj. A case has been registered against the admin of the WhatsApp group from which the video was shared. The number has been put on surveillance," Pal told BOOM.
Additionally, we also looked for any incident of violence in Pratapgarh but could not find any news report on it.
BOOM also reached out to Chhattisgarh police. The report will be updated once we get a response.
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