A mock-drill video from Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya-Sultanpur border is being peddled online as an actual terror attack and is also being shared other claims falsely linking it to the Coronavirus.
The video has been shared on multiple social media pages with communal hashtags 'Corona Jihadi' and 'Jihadis'. BOOM found that the video actually shows an anti-terror mock drill carried out in Ayodhya's Bikapur area and is not connected to the ongoing 21-day lockdown.
The video has been shared with a Hindi caption which reads 'Chaurey Baazar, UP: Hail Yogi's administration. Corona Jihadis, Did you not know this is Ayodhya, birthplace of Lord Rama. Good job UP police. Jai Hind, Jai Bharat'.
(Hindi: उत्तरप्रदेश के चौरे बाजार की घटना | जय योगी राज कोरोना जेहादियों क्या तुम्हें नही पता था कि ये UP का अयोध्या मर्यादा पुरुषोत्तम श्री राम की धरातल है God job UP police जय हिंद जय भारत )
The 90-second-long video shows a white SUV approach a police barricade at high speed. The vehicle screeches to a halt as uniformed cops armed with assault rifles surround it. Within seconds, two armed men get down from the vehicle and try to escape but seconds later one of them is shown lying face down on the road. In the background one can here gunshots. The entire incident unfolds quite dramatically and seconds later the cops are seen snatching away rifles from the masked men and whisking them off in a police vehicle.
Watch the video below and access its archived version here.
The same video is viral with a slightly different claim calling the armed men 'Jihadis'.
The video is being given a communal hue at a time when the country is already grappling with an outbreak of Coronavirus. The deadly virus has till now claimed 109 lives in India so far
The term Corona Jihad/Jihadi has found its way into colloquial usage after several members of the Tablighi Jamaat - an Islamic missionary movement, traveled to different places in the country after attending a religious congregation in Nizamuddin, Delhi in March. The event took place despite restrictions on large gathering and movement of people that were already in place before a nationwide lockdown was announced on March 24. Several of the Jamaatis have now tested positive. The religious group is facing a backlash and is accused of being a carrier of the virus and spreading the infection to several states.
BOOM watched the video closely and saw the words 'Chaurey Bazaar, Faizabaad' written on a signboard visible in the clip. Taking a cue, we contacted Ayodhya Police to get more details about the incident. Ayodhya Police PRO told BOOM that the video was that of an anti-terror mock drill, and directed us to Bikapur police station where the drill had been carried.
Inspector-in-charge Bikapur police station Indresh Kumar Yadav told BOOM that the incident was purely a mock drill. "We have already issued a presser regarding this. The video is that of an anti-terror mock drill conducted on April 2, 2020. It was a rehearsal carried out by our team. This has nothing to do with terror activities," Yadav said.
Yadav categorically denied that the incident had anything to do with Coronavirus.
BOOM also came across the same video on YouTube calling the clip a mock drill. Watch the video below.
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