What is the truth?: We found out that the man, Chandrashekar Hirematha of Koppal district of Karnataka, was attacking the electricity department official after he was asked to pay the pending electricity bill for six months.
The claim linking the incident to the Congress' promise about free electricity is misleading.
Hirematha was later arrested by Munirabad police.
How did we find out the truth?: We performed a relevant keyword search on Google and came across several news reports about this incident which included Hindustan Times, Free Press Journal and India Today.
The report by India Today was shared on 24 May that carried the viral video.
It mentioned that Chandrashekar Hirematha of Kukanapalli in Koppal district of Karnataka attacked a Gulbarga Electricity Supply Company Limited (GESCOM) employee after he was asked to pay his electricity bills of over six months.
It added that Manjunath’s colleague, who recorded the incident on camera, filed a case against Hirematha at the Munirabad police station after which the latter was arrested.
What is the man saying in the video?: In the video, Hirematha can be heard abusing the electricity department official.
He also says, "GESCOM personnel has not changed the name registration of the electricity meter. I will not pay, do whatever you want."
Statement from the police and the FIR: Next, we contacted Koppal SP office who dismissed the claims about Congress' link with the incident.
The PI added, "Hirematha attacked the GESCOM employee on 23 May after he his electricity was disconnected over the non-payment of electricity bill."
We also procured the FIR pertaining to this case which mentioned that R Manjunatha, the GESCOM employee who got attacked, filed the complaint against Hirematha.
It added that Hirematha had not paid his electricity bill for six months and was using an unauthorised re-connected meter without the electricity department's permission.
It also mentioned that Manjunatha had disconnected Hirematha's electricity after the non-payment of bills because of which he got agitated and attacked the official.
What did Congress promise about free electricity?: The Congress party in Karnataka has promised 200 units of free electricity to every household.
Congress general secretary KC Venugopal also tweeted that the Karnataka government’s first cabinet approved five things which were a part of the election campaign.
Amongst which, free electricity up to 200 units under 'Gruha Jyothi' was also approved.
However, according to Hindustan Times' report, Siddaramaiah had stated that these guarantees would "most likely" be implemented after the second Cabinet meeting.
Congress' guarantees causing chaos in the state: Several incidents have been reported from Karnataka where people are refusing to pay their electricity bills after Congress' made this 'guarantee'.
Hindustan Times' report states that some farmers in Veerapur village in Belagavi district also refused to pay electricity bills stating that the state government should do it.
Conclusion: An incident of man slapping an electricity department employee in Karnataka after he was asked to pay bills is going viral with a misleading claim linking it to Congress' 'free electricity promise'.
(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on , or e-mail it to us at and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories .)