A set of photos from April 2016 showing two groups of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers clashing with each other in North Howrah, West Bengal during a party meeting is being passed off as the recent ruckus by the party supporters at Kolkata's iconic Coffee House.
In the viral photos, BJP workers can be seen ransacking furniture.
The images are being shared after BJP supporters swarmed into the first floor of Coffee House on College Street, Kolkata on March 15, 2021, and tore up posters on the walls of the staircase that said "No Votes to BJP". And while the incident is true the images circulating online are from 2016.
West Bengal assembly elections will be held in eight phases starting from March 27, 2021, to April 29, 2021, and the counting of votes will take place on May 2, 2021.
The photos are being shared with the caption which when translated from Bengali reads, "Ruckus by saffron in iconic coffee house. They are enemies of Bangla and Bengalis. If you vote them they will leave Bengal by destroying it."
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(In Bangla - ঐতিহ্যবাহী #কফিহাউসে গৈরিক তাণ্ডব! এরা #বাংলা ও #বাঙালীর শত্রু । যদি এদের ভোট দেন তাহলে এরা - বাংলা #ধ্বংস করে ছাড়বে।)
Viral on Facebook
On searching with the same caption on Facebook, we found that the photos are being shared with the false claim.
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BOOM found that the viral photos are from April 4, 2016, when two groups of BJP workers clashed at a party meet in North Howrah, West Bengal. The clash happened at a local party meeting convened by BJP leader Roopa Ganguly ahead of the first phase of polling before the 2016 West Bengal assembly elections.
We found a tweet from April 2016 with the same set of photos which stated that BJP workers had clashed in Howrah at a party workers' convention in front of Rupa Ganguly who was the BJP candidate from Howrah North.
On performing a keyword search we found news reports on the incident which stated that six were injured during the clash.
We found a Firstpost article from 2016 which had the same photos in it crediting it to photo agency PTI. The caption of the photos read, "BJP workers clash with each other at a party workers' convention for actress and BJP candidate from Howrah North Assembly constituency Rupa Ganguly in Howrah."
On searching in the PTI photo gallery with the keywords, 'Howrah' and 'BJP workers, we found all the three photos.
Additionally, we found an India TV news report on the incident which footage shows the clash and on observing the venue, we found that the paint on the walls is the same as in the viral photos.
BOOM has previously debunked misinformation in the run-up to to the West Bengal elections with unrelated videos and photos being shared with false claims.
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