A video from January 2021, when an angry mob attacked a police van and chased a police officer over the death of a youngster who was allegedly a suspect in a crime, is being shared with a false claim that it is shows the post poll violence that broke out in West Bengal.
The video shared with a false claim that All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers attacking West Bengal police is being shared in the backdrop of reports of post-poll violence in the state with opposition parties including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Communist Party of India (Marxist) accusing the TMC of violent attacks on their party workers. The incumbent TMC led by Mamata Banerjee won a landslide victory on May 2, 2021, bagging 212 assembly seats.
In the viral clip, several people can be seen attacking a police van, assaulting a police officer and then chasing him with sticks. The clip is being shared with the caption, "Policeman came to control the situation & then TMC goons attacks on Police. #tmcgoons #tmcgoons #PresidentRuleInBengal"
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Viral on Facebook
On searching with the same caption on Facebook, we found that the viral clip is being shared with the false claim.
BOOM found that the viral clip is from January 2021, in Bhadrak, Odisha where locals had attacked and torched a police van over an alleged suspect's death after his body was later found floating in a pond in the village.
We found replies on Twitter posts that stated the video is from Odhisa and not West Bengal and running keyword searches with terms like 'police attacked odisha', we found news reports on the incident.
The deceased was identified as Bapi Mahalik of Hatuari village under Nayanand panchayat of the district reported Kalinga TV.
The report stated that according to locals, Mahalik was visiting his sister, when the police team reached there to interrogate him over a past incident. Seeing them, Mahalik allegedly fled with the police giving chase. Media reports said that Mahalik while fleeing, fell into a nearby pond and drowned to death which enraged locals who set the police vehicle on fire at Alinagar Square.
On can view the same spot and police van in the local news reports on the incident uploaded in January 2021.
A comparison of the viral video and the news videos from Odisha shows several similarities including the same police officer being attacked.
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