A 2018 video from Chopda city in Maharashtra of a Muslim man threatening a police constable, is viral with a false claim that it shows a recent incident from Delhi's Jahangirpuri area where communal clashes took place recently.
The video has gone viral after Jahangirpuri area in Delhi saw violent clashes between two communities on April 16, 2022 during a Shobha Yatra (a rally) to mark Hanuman Jayanti in the area. According to reports, over 20 people have been arrested for their alleged involvement.
The viral video shows a uniformed police personnel in a heated argument with a Muslim man who tells him, "meet me when you are not in uniform". BOOM found that the video is from 2018 and shows an incident that happened in Chopda city in Jalgaon district of Maharashtra.
Sudarshan News reporter Santosh Chauhan tweeted the video with a Hindi caption which translates to, "take off your uniform and meet me... The situation has reached in this state now. Delhi riots, Jahangirpuri".
(Original Text in Hindi: मुझसे वर्दी उतार के मिल ले... हालात यहां तक पहुँच चुके हैं... #DelhiRiots #जहांगीरपुरी)
Click here to view the post.
Incidentally, Sudarshan TV had tweeted the same video in 2021 and tagged Maharashtra Police to take action against the Muslim man, at that time.
The video is being shared with hashtags connected to the recent violence in Delhi and has also been revived on Facebook with claims that it is a recent incident.
Click here to view the post.
View Facebook posts here
In the video, one of men arguing with the police constables can be heard speaking in Marathi. Furthermore, the signboards seen in the video also have Marathi text indicating the video is from Maharashtra and not Delhi.
The insignia seen on the police constable's left sleeve is also of Maharashtra Police. A comparison can be seen below.
Geolocating The Video To Chopda bus stand, Jalgaon, Maharashtra
A keyword search for "वर्दी उतार कर मिल ले" in Hindi showed a Facebook post with a longer version of the same video uploaded on September 20, 2018.
The video was captioned, "Dhuley Maharashtra.…".
Going through the replies on the above video, we found a March 9, 2021 comment by a user named Kedar Dhangar, who said the incident is from Chopda bus stand in Maharashtra. Dhangar in his reply said that the police personnel had beaten up a fruit vendor and that led to an altercation.
We contacted Kedar Dhangar who confirmed that the video is from 2018 and from Maharashtra. Speaking to BOOM, Dhangar said that he was present at the Chopda bus stand when the incident happened.
"I was in standard 11th and returning from college after appearing for some internal exams when we first saw the policeman arguing and pushing a young fruit vendor and asking him to move his stall as it was blocking traffic. After sometime, we saw the same fruit vendor enter the bus stand with two older men who were angry that the policeman had beaten up the fruit seller," explained Dhangar. He added that the argument went on for a few minutes and was halted after a man named Sonawane, the in-charge for the Chopda bus stand intervened. "The video is not from Delhi but from Chopda where I stay. I take a bus from the same place everyday and I saw this argument happening right in front of me," Dhangar said.
Further, we were able to identify the policeman seen in the video as a Shrikant Gangurde who is currently posted as a Police Naik at the Sub Divisional Police Office in Chopda. We contacted Gangurde who confirmed that it is him in the video and said the incident happened on September 12, 2018. "I remember the date correctly and I was then a police constable posted at the Chopda city police station. My duty for the day was at the Chopda bus stand where the incident happened," Gangurde said.
Recalling the incident, he said, "A young man had set up a tempo at the place where buses exited and was selling apples. His stall was causing a traffic blockage and hindering movement of the buses so I asked him to move his stall. But he refused to do so despite repeated warning and we got into an argument. After sometime, he brought his father and grandfather who are seen in the viral video arguing with me. The father alleged that I had beaten up his son (the fruit vendor) and said he would take action against me. In his anger, he said the line that is viral about meeting him when I am not in uniform." Gangurde added that after the incident, the video went viral and the police station also registered a case against the two men. "The man who threatened me is Naeem Bagwan and the older man is Raheem Bagwan. We registered a case against them for threatening a public officer on duty."
Additional reporting by Srijit Das
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