A video of a mock drill by special commandos of Telangana police is going viral over WhatsApp and social media with a message that claims it shows a terror attack in Andhra Pradesh.
The video is being shared with the caption, ‘Near tirumala bypass 4 terrorists. One on spot killed and 3 other arrested.’
The video was also shared on Twitter with a similar caption, ‘Near Tirumala Bypass 4 Muslim Jihadi Terrorists. One on Spot Death and 3 Arrested’
The message has also been translated into Hindi and is spreading quickly on Facebook.
BOOM analysed the video and found news reports from earlier this month about a mock-drill conducted by the OCTOPUS team in Warangal district of Telangana.
The mock drill was held in public areas of Warangal district Telangana by a team of an elite commando force of the Telangana police. The commandos are from the Organisation for Counter-Terrorist Operations also known as OCTOPUS. The team has been holding mock drills in public spaces to better train their commandos and the viral video was one such drill held in Warangal.
In a news report uploaded by a local channel NTV Telugu, the same footage as the viral video can be seen at 3.10 minutes.
A local news outlet Tv5 news also carried a web story in Telugu detailing the mock drill. A photo accompanying this report has same scenes from the video and a caption in English ‘ Octopus mock drill’
BOOM also contacted Warangal police who dismissed any reports about a terror attack and confirmed that the video was from a mock drill in the district. Speaking to BOOM, Mohan Krishna, PRO of Warangal police Commissionerate explained that on January 11 the Octopus team held two mock drills in Warangal.
“The team conducted a mock drill in two places in Warangal, the Bhadrakali temple and near the junction of MGM hospital.”
“We are shocked to know that the video from mock drill is being spread as terror attack. It was only a mock drill involving highly skilled commandos. There is nothing to worry about,” he added.
BOOM also found the same video uploaded by a Facebook user on January 11, the same date as mentioned by Krishna.