Rajasthan Police Constable Sandeep Chaudhary Was Not Attacked By Muslims
BOOM found that thoser arrested for the attack on the police constable are Hindus and there is no communal angle to the incident
A viral post on social media falsely claims that a Muslim mob protested and brutally attacked a police constable in Rajsamand, Rajasthan when he went to arrest two people accused of murdering Kanhaiyalal in Udaipur.
On June 28, 2022, Gaus Mohammad and Mohammad Riyaz Ansari assaulted and hacked to death a tailor, Kanhaiyalal for allegedly supporting Nupur Sharma's comments against Prophet Mohammad. The accused recorded the murder on camera and made a second video boasting about the crime and threatening Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Following the murder of Kanhaiyalal, Rajasthan saw widespread protests from people demanding the death penalty for the accused. One such protest was held in Bhim, Rajsamand district on June 29, 2022 which turned violent with the police resorting to beating the protesters and firing in the air to disperse the protesters. According to reports, the protesters also attacked police personnel and wire agency ANI tweeted visuals showing an injured constable who was attacked by a sharp object. The policeman was later identified as Sandeep Chaudhary who suffered grave injuries on his head and neck after being attacked using a sword during the protests.
The viral post refers to the attack on constable Chaudhary and falsely claims that he was attacked by Muslims while attempting to arrest Gaus Mohammed and Riyaz Ansari for Kanhaiyalal's murder.
Right wing site OpIndia published a story on their Hindi site making the false claim. The article claimed an "Islamic mob" attacked constable Sandeep Chaudhary as "they were angry because the murder accused in Kanhaiyal's case were arrested."
The site later changed their story without a clarification removing the claim that the protesters were Muslims. Below is the screenshot of the archived version of the old story.
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Prashant Patel (@ippatel), spokesperson for the Bharatiya Janata Party's Uttar Pradesh wing also tweeted the same false claim and later deleted it. Patel who is also an advocate, has been caught on several occasions peddling disinformation of a communal nature.
Kreately media, known for its communal social media posts, also made the same fake claim.
BOOM found that the protesters in Rajsamand were those demanding the death penalty for the accused, and not protesting against their arrest. Additionally, we also found that those arrested for the violent protest and attacking constable Sandeep Chaudhary were not Muslims but were Hindus from Bhim in Rajsamand.
We first found a tweet posted by the official handle of the Rajasthan police calling out the OpIndia story as fake. The Rajasthan Police tweet in Hindi translates to, "This story is absolutely false. It has presented wrong facts. The accused who attacked police constable Sandeep Chaudhary were from the same community as him. We request to not spread fake news."
Following this, we contacted Gajendra Singh, Station House Officer of Bhim police station where the attack happened, who said that the viral claims blaming muslims are false.
Singh explained that on June 29, a protest was held after the Udaipur murder of Kanhaiyalal. "The claim that Sandeep Choudhary was part of the team that arrested the murderers of Kanhaiya Lal. During the protest, some people participating attacked him. Those who led the arrest were from the Hindu community and the main accused was a Balveer Singh who has since been arrested," said SHO Singh.
We then ran a search for news articles related to the protest and found an Indian Express report about the attack and the subsequent arrest which identified the accused as a Balveer Singh, Shravan Singh and Mahaveer.
The Indian Express reported, "a joint team of the Rajasthan Police and the Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) detained three persons from Vadodara on Friday, including one who allegedly struck a police constable on the neck with a sword during protests in the Rajsamand district of Rajasthan last month." The report further said, main accused, Balveer is part of a group called Cobra Gang and has cases for issuing threats on social media and assault. "Some anti-social elements had entered Bhim, armed with swords, petrol bottles and sticks. The police and the administration chased them away but one person in the mob, identified as Balveer, attacked Sandeep on the neck with a sword, with the intention to kill him."
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