An old video of a police personnel brutally caning a man is viral on social media with captions falsely claiming that the man was being punished for hoisting a blue flag instead of the national flag on Independence Day.
BOOM found that the viral video has been on the internet since March this year. The same video had been doing the rounds of social media during the initial days of the pan-India lockdown imposed in various phases from March 24 in order to contain the deadly Coronavirus pandemic.
The video is now viral in the backdrop of Independence Day with the social media posts aiming to mock Dalits by sharing the clip with false claims.
It's noteworthy that the blue colour is linked with Dalit identity in several ways and over the years it has become symbolic of the Dalit resistance in India.
The 20-second-long viral video shows a policeman brutally beating a person with a cane even as he screams in pain while other cops stand around as mute spectators.
A viral Facebook post (archive) sharing the video has a Hindi caption which translates to 'On Independence Day today he hoisted blue flag instead of the national tricolour. Police came and waved their batons'.
(Hindi: आज स्वतंत्रता दिवस के अवसर पर तिरंगे को छोड़कर,नीला झंडा फहराया,पुलिस पहुंच गई और अपना डंडा लहराने लगी।)
Another Facebook post (archive) has a sarcastic Hindi caption which translates to 'Prasad distribution and musical presentation after hoisting Blue flag instead of tricolour'.
(Hindi: तिरंगा झंडे की जगह नीला झंडा लगाने के बाद प्रसाद वितरण और संगीतमय प्रस्तुति।)
The same video has been shared from several Twitter handles with comments mocking Dalits.
तिरंगा झंडे की जगह नीला झंडा लगाने के बाद प्रसाद वितरण और संगीतमय प्रस्तुति। pic.twitter.com/bQaRkABdLr— अनुज अग्निहोत्री 'स्वतंत्र' (@ianujagnihotri) August 15, 2020
तिरंगे झंडे की जगह नीला झंडा लगाने के बाद प्रसाद वितरण और संगीतमय प्रस्तुति! pic.twitter.com/sz1jZjJry6— Amit Tomar (@CannectWithAmit) August 15, 2020
BOOM performed a reverse image search on the viral video and tracked it to March this year.
We found the same clip in a compilation of videos collated by news organisations Amar Ujala and AsiaNet News showing police action against people violating lockdown guidelines. While the AsiaNet News report was published on March 24, 2020, there's no publishing date mentioned in the Amar Ujala video.
BOOM found the same video uploaded on YouTube on March 25,2020 under a Hindi headline which translates to 'Outcomes of violating lockdown'.
We also came across an article published in Hindi news portal Patrika on March 25, 2020 which has a screenshot from the same video.
The report mentions that cops were dealing strictly with those breaking the lockdown guidelines.
However, none of the reports clearly mention the location or exact date of the viral video.
While the blue flag in the background - which resembles the Republican Party of India's flag - and the logo of Maharashtra police on the vehicle does suggest that the incident might be from Maharashtra, BOOM was not able to independently ascertain the exact location where the video was recorded.
Updated On: 2020-08-18T13:52:48+05:30
Claim : Video claims police thrashed a man for hoisting blue flag instead of National flag on Independence Day
Claimed By : Social media
Fact Check : False