Reports of doctors, policemen and healthcare workers being attacked in several parts of the country amid the coronavirus lockdown continue to be a major cause of concern for the government and citizens alike.
In light of this, a video claiming that Muslims gathered near a bridge to offer prayers in Maharashtra’s Malegaon and attacked the cops when they tried to disperse the crowd is going viral.
“Single source members gathered on Malegaon, Maharashtra bridge to offer prayer. When police went there to remove them they started attacking policemen. This situation remains the same in every part of Maharashtra where minorities are in more numbers. Maharashtra govt is unable to enforce lockdown so now this is the best time for them to call army for areas like this but wait how come they can call when Bollywoodias are praising our CM as world’s best CM.. so calling Army will question his governance right (sic),” the claim shared with the video reads.
It must be noted that the post mentions this tweet by Maharashtra Times as a source of the information.
TRUE OR FALSE?
False. The Quint can confirm that while an incident did occur at Yellamma Bridge in Malegaon on Thursday, 23 April, the social media posts above have been given a false communal spin.
People came out in large numbers, complaining of a shortage of essential supplies and not to offer prayers, as claimed by the viral post.
WHAT WE FOUND
Looking at the post, the first thing we noticed was that the information is attributed to a Maharashtra Times tweet. While the tweet did talk about an altercation between the police and the locals, it did not say anything about what triggered the entire situation.
To confirm the same, The Quint’s WebQoof team reached out to the Additional SP of Malegaon, Sandip Ghuge. He told us that people flouted the lockdown to complaint against the lack of essentials.
“There is no communal angle to this. Muslims or Hindus didn’t come out to offer prayers. In fact, people had gathered to raise concerns regarding lack of essential services. A complaint has been filed based on the initial investigation.”Sandip Ghuge, Additional SP of Malegaon
We also reached out to a local journalist, Prashant Bagh, who confirmed that the altercation between police and the locals resulted from locals coming out on streets at around 8 am, complaining about the lack of essential services.
We also came across a news bulletin by ABP Marathi, which confirmed the details stating that Malegaon has become a COVID-19 hotspot.
Clearly, a case of people violating lockdown rules is being shared with a false communal angle.
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