A viral video which shows a man being beaten up is being shared with the claim that he is ‘Umesh Singh’ from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and that the protesting farmers are physically assaulting him as he was “raising anti-national slogans” at the protest site.
But when we reached out to a local reporter and a police official, who was present at the site in Ghaziabad, we found out that the claim is misleading.
The man has been identified as Arun Kumar, who got into a scuffle with the farmers after he allegedly misbehaved with reporters of a news channel. They further denied the claim that the man was associated with any political party.
The claim shared along with the video reads: “किसान आंदोलन में शामिल होकर देश विरोधी नारे लगते "भाजपा नेता उमेश सिंह" को किसानों ने पकड़कर जूतों से मारा, किसना आंदोलन को बदनाम करने की साज़िश कर रही है भाजपा सरकार (sic)”
(Translated: Farmers beat BJP’s Umesh Singh, who was raising anti-national slogans at farmers’ protest. BJP government is setting a plot to discredit farmers’ protest.)
The video shared by one ‘विजय यदुवंशी सरपंच’ on Facebook had garnered 27,000 views and had been shared 6,000 times at the time of publishing the article.
The video is being massively shared on Facebook and Twitter with a similar narrative.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We noticed a logo of news channel ‘Bharat Samachar’ and searched for the video on the channel’s official handles. On Monday, 14 December, the channel had uploaded the video on Twitter, identifying the man as ‘Arun’.
The tweet mentioned that the video is from Ghaziabad and the protesting farmers had allegedly beaten Arun.
We then reached out to a local reporter who confirmed that the man being beaten is Arun Kumar, who lives in Ghazipur, and that he is not affiliated with any political party.
“Arun had come to the farmers’ protest on Monday. A reporter of a news channel was doing a LIVE and was talking to Arun. In the meantime, Arun started chanting slogans against the channel. Arun was accompanied by 2-3 more people and they held the reporter by his collar. Farmers don’t want any kind of misbehaviour with any reporter as it might become an issue. When the farmers saw this, they went and asked Arun why is he doing all this and an argument ensued.”A local reporter to The Quint
The reporter further denied that the man in the video was raising “anti-national slogans or Pakistan zindabad slogans,” as claimed.
POLICE DENIES ANY POLITICAL AFFILIATION OF THE MAN IN QUESTION
A police official on the condition of anonymity, too, denied the claim that the man being beaten was ‘Umesh Singh’ and identified him as one Arun Kumar.
“Arun hails from Saharanpur but presently lives in Kondli, Ghazipur and runs a private security agency. He said he had gone to the farmers’ protest as a gesture of service but he had an argument with reporters of a news channel and they had only informed us about it. A reporter told me that Arun said words such as ‘Godi media’ which the reporter didn’t like and an argument took place.” the police official said.
“Arun was then brought to a police station and was challaned under Section 151 for disturbing public peace,” the police official added.
The police official further said that Arun is not affiliated with any political party.
WHAT WAS THE ARGUMENT ABOUT? FARMERS’ ACCOUNT
The Quint’s WebQoof team got in touch with members of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) who were present at the location when the incident took place.
Anuj, who is affiliated to BKU (Prayagraj) said:
“The man being beaten in the video is one Arun from Ghazipur. He had an argument with a reporter after he said words such as ‘Godi Media’ and created a nuisance. We have informed our people that if they see anybody saying any objectionable things or creating nuisance, they should pull them out of the protest.”
IS THERE ANY BJP LEADER NAMED ‘UMESH SINGH’?
We ran a search on the website of MyNeta.info, a website run by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) which has information related to politicians, with keywords “Umesh Singh” and came across several results but none of them are affiliated to BJP.
We also searched for Arun Kumar on the MyNeta.info portal and came across one BJP leader by the same name, however, he is a leader from Himachal Pradesh. The one seen in the video is from Saharanpur, UP and is presently living in Ghazipur.
Evidently, social media posts falsely claimed that the man being beaten by protesting farmers in the viral video is BJP’s ‘Umesh Singh.’
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