A video of man being taken away by a policeman is being shared with a false claim that a BJP leader was caught raising 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogans to sabotage the ongoing farmers' protest.
The video is viral claiming the man is Umesh Singh a BJP leader who was beaten up by farmers after he raised slogans at the protest supporting Pakistan. The caption in Hindi when translates reads, "Farmers beat up BJP leader Umesh Singh who participated in the protests and raised Pakistan Zindabad slogans"
(Original text in Hindi - किसान आंदोलन में शामिल होकर पाकिस्तान जिन्दाबाद के नारे लगाते "भाजपा नेता #उमेश_सिंह" को किसानों ने पकड़कर #जूतों से मारा)
We heard the 43 second video and found no mention of any sloganeering and did not hear Pakistan Zindabad slogans being raised anywhere. The video only shows a man being pushed around and beaten by a crowd with a police personnel trying to pull the man away from the crowd and take him away. One of the people from the crowd can be heard saying in Hindi, "Banao isko neta, neta banao isko" which translates to, "Make him a leader"
We noticed that the viral videos had a logo on Bharat Samachar on them and we found that they are a local Hindi channel who tweeted the same video on Dec 14, 2020 with the text identifying the man as a Arun who was beaten up by farmers for allegedly speaking to the media.
The handle also tagged Ghaziabad police and using that a cue we reached out to them who said the incident is from Khoda, Ghaziabad.
Mohammed Aslam, Station House Officer, Khoda said the man is not connected to any political party and neither was a Pakistan Zindabad slogan raised. He said the incident is from the afternoon of Dec 14 and identified the man getting beaten as one Arun Kumar a resident of Saharanpur who was with the farmers as a mark of support.
Aslam said, "The man was speaking to a local channel's reporter and upon noticing Republic Bharat reporters, passed a rude comment towards them. This led to those journalists getting upset and also saying something to him and a fight broke out. The surrounding farmers got angry at the man because they thought he was attempting to disrupt the protest. The Republic Bharat reporters summoned the stationed policemen who took him away the scene and brought him to the station but since no FIR was registered we let him go."
Aslam added that the man runs his own security agency, Vaishali security on Ghazipur and has no connection to any political parties. "The claim that Pakistan zindabad slogan was raised is false"
We then ran a search on Myneta, to see if there was an Umesh Singh in BJP and found no such leader in the party. MyNeta is a website providing details about candidates contesting elections including their criminal and financial background.
To confirm whether Arun Kumar, who was beaten up, is part of BJP and searched on Myneta for the name and found that the only BJP leader by that name is from Himachal Pradesh. According to the Ghaziabad police who are investigating the incident, Kumar originally hails from Saharanpur and is currently residing in Ghazipur, both cities in Uttar Pradesh.
Follow BOOM's thread on misinformation around the farmers' protests.
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