A video showing Yogi Adityanath lighting a firecracker at his residence ahead of the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya in August is viral with netizens falsely linking it to the firecracker ban in various states including Uttar Pradesh, to curb alarming levels of air pollution.
The video has been spliced together with another video showing a distressed child reacting to the arrest of her father - a firecracker seller in Bulandshahr -by Uttar Pradesh Police.
Social media users have alleged hypocrisy on part of the Yogi Adityanath led Uttar Pradesh government.
The text on the video says 'both videos are from Uttar Pradesh'. The video showing the minor girl bang her head against the police jeep has been titled - 'Father of this girl was arrested by UP Police for selling crackers'. While the video showing Yogi Adityanath lighting a firecracker has been titled as 'CM Yogi Adityanath burning crackers on Diwali'.
BOOM found that the captions with both the videos are misleading. Although the incident of UP Police arresting a firecracker seller is true and recent, it is noteworthy that he was released after the video went viral and created outrage online. The video showing the UP chief minister is from August and not from Diwali which was celebrated on November 14 this year.
The video clip in which Yogi Adityanath is burning a firecracker has a logo of Asian News International ( ANI) on the top right corner. We looked for the video and found a tweet by ANI UP on August 4, 2020 which contains the same video.
The tweet reads: "#WATCH Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath lights a firecracker at his official residence in Lucknow as part of 'deepotsav', ahead of the foundation stone laying ceremony of #RamTemple in Ayodhya tomorrow."
We then searched with "father of a girl arrested for selling crackers" keywords on YouTube and found several reports that the incident is from last week. A report by ABP News was published on YouTube on November 14, 2020, and has the same video. According to the description of the report, the Uttar Pradesh government had taken action against the police officials for their 'inhumane' behaviour toward the minor girl. The ABP News video can be seen below and similar reports on the same incident can be read here and here.
Bulandshahr city was placed under a blanket ban on the sale and bursting of firecrackers ahead of Diwali this year along with 12 other cities in UP including Lucknow. The police conducted a drive to curb illegal selling of firecrackers and arrested many vendors. From the drive at Khurja town of Bulandshahr, the video of the distraught girl went viral on social media. Soon after the video of the girl went viral, UP police faced flak for their 'inhumane' behaviour. An order by the CM to release the father was also delivered. Subsequently, a team of police and district officials visited the girl's house with gifts and sweets. Read here.
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