An old photo of a hawker assaulting a traffic cop by grabbing his jaw, is being shared with the false and communal claim that it is a recent incident from Jodhpur, Rajasthan and that the assailant is a Muslim.
BOOM spoke to ASI Shobharam, who is seen in the photo, and confirmed that the image is neither recent nor does it any have any communal angle to it.
The photo is being shared in the backdrop of curfew being imposed in Karauli, Rajasthan till April 7, 2022, after incidents of arson and vandalism on April 2 when stones were pelted at a bike rally on Nav Samvatsar (Hindu New Year), which was passing through a Muslim-dominated area.
The photo was tweeted with a caption that claims, "...Picture is of Ghantaghar area of Jodhpur.. Order to remove encroachment, But when action was taken on the unorganized standing stones, the Jihadis surrounded them and Police constable was treated like this."
(In Hindi - ...चित्र जोधपुर के घंटाघर क्षेत्र का है.. अतिक्रमण हटाने के आदेश..पर अव्यवस्थित खड़े ठेलों पर कारवाई हुई तो जिहादियों ने घेर लिया और..पुलिस कॉन्स्टेबल के साथ ये व्यवहार हुआ.....पुलिसकर्मी ट्रैफिक हवलदार है, नाम शोभाराम। डरने के लिए इतना ही पर्याप्त है कि जो तेवर दिखा रहा है वो और आसपास घेरकर खड़े लोग... सरकार के प्राणप्रिय special-72 समुदाय के ही हैं..)
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The same photo is being shared with the false claim on Facebook.
BOOM found that the viral photo is from May 2016 when a traffic constable was assaulted by a hawker near Clock Tower, Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
While running a keyword search and performing a reverse image we found news reports on the incident from May 2016. According to a news report by the website Lionexpress that used a similar photo of the incident, the assault happened after a traffic police inspector had asked a hawker to move who had illegally assembled with his cart near Clock Tower in Jodhpur.
Bhaskar had also reported on the incident stating that the traffic police officer in the photo is Head Constable Shobharam and then the police took action against the hawkers at the spot and the man who had assaulted him
"Old incident from 2016, the hawker who assaulted me is not a Muslim": ASI Shobharam
BOOM then reached out to Jodhpur Police who got us in touch with Shobharam who is currently an Assistant Sub-inspector in Jodhpur Police. Shobharam denied the calim that the incident is recent and the hawker who assaulted him is a Muslim.
"This is an incident from 2016, when a few hawkers near Clock tower, Jodhpur had assembled illegally and I had instructed them to vacate and one hawker assaulted me. The man was later arrested for the incident and he is a Hindu and not a Muslim as being claimed," ASI Shobharam told BOOM.