Did Pilibhit Police Organise A Rally During Janta Curfew? A FactCheck

The Pilibhit police has denied the same despite viral videos showing them lead a rally.

A viral video showing Pilibhit police in Uttar Pradesh and the District Magistrate participating in a rally on the day of the Janta Curfew is true. The video from March 22, shows the Pilibhit Superitendent of Police and DM leading the rally while blowing on conch shells and playing cymbals, to show their appreciation to essential care members working in times of the outbreak of Coronavirus.

The rally was held after Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation asked people to come to their windows and clap, bang plates and ring bells to show their appreciation for doctors, policemen, santitation workers - who are striving during the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.

Medical practioners have advised large gatherings and have asked people to make maintain safe distance from others. Several states have declared a complete lockdown with officials are asking people to remain indoors.

In the viral video, Pilibhit SP Abhishek Dikshit can be seen in uniform blowing a conch shell, while Vaibhav Shrivastav, DM is seen wearing a mask and loudly playing a cymbal.

The incident was reported by several mainstream media organisations such as The Hindu, Outlook, and NDTV.

"The Pilibhit administration on Sunday triggered a controversy when the district police chief and magistrate allegedly took out a march, blowing conch shells and banging steel plates in response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call to express gratitude to those providing essential services during the COVID-19 outbreak," reported The Hindu.

Interestingly, following media reports criticising their actions, Pilibhit police denied that Abhishek Dikshit, SP and Vaibhav Shrivastav, DM have denied that they were participating in the video and claimed that "they were trying to get people to not form crowds".

Pilibhi police tweeted calling the media reports misleading. The tweet said, in Hindi translates to, "@pilibhitpolice denial- DM and SP did not carry out a rally. The DM and SP did not carry out a rally. They respectfully removed the people who had come out on streets since the use of force was impractical. The news has only one side of the story and that is why it is misleading. Media byte has been attached as proof. @UPpolice @dgpup"

"The appeal made by our PM has been taken very seriously by the people. I also appeal that everyone should stay inside their homes, and not gather in large numbers because by doing this the chances of infection increase," Vaibhav Shrivastav said in the video with the tweet.

Fact Check

BOOM found that the Pilibhit police and DM did carry out the rally despite orders of curfew.

We compared the officer seen in the video in uniform to photos of SP Dikshit and found that they were the same.

In the clip, Dikshit can be seen blowing a conch shell (Shankh). BOOM compared his picture on his official WhatsApp number with those in the viral video.

Pilibhit's Superintendent of Police, Abhishek Dikshit.

We also found a deleted tweet by the Pilibhit police, where Dikshit can be seen holding a conch shell in his hand and the Srivastav holding cymbals with the caption stating that "they overviewed the curfew situation" in the area.

Shrivastav is wearing the same shirt and mask as seen in the viral video.

A screenshot of the cached version of the tweet can be seen below

BOOM contacted SP Dikshit and DM Shrivastav but they declined to comment.

Updated On: 2020-03-24T15:16:54+05:30
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