Clip From Chhattisgarh Falsely Shared as One From UP With a Communal Spin
The video shows communal violence in Kawardha, Chhattisgarh and is not from Uttar Pradesh's Pratapgarh.
A clip of a mob hitting and damaging vehicles while chanting 'Jai Shree Ram' (Hail Lord Ram) is being widely shared across social media platforms with a claim that a Hindu association in Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh (UP), removed a flag atop a Masjid.
It is further being said that this was in retaliation to some members of the Muslim community forcibly entering a Durga Puja pandal and hindering a religious ceremony.
However, the video is originally from Chhattisgarh's Kawardha, where communal tensions arose after a group of people took down a saffron flag on 3 October. Following the incident, local groups took out rallies and violence broke out as these groups caused extensive damage to property owned by Muslims, causing a curfew to be imposed across the district.
The short video of a mob damaging cars and motorcycles is being shared with Hindi text, which reads,
"प्रतापगढ़ जिले के लालगंज कस्बे में दुर्गा पूजा के पंडाल में घुस कर मुस्लिम समुदाय के लोगो ने पूजा बंद करवा दी और मां दुर्गा का पताका निकाल कर फेंक दिया, उसके बाद हिंदू संगठन सक्रिय हो गए, एक एक मुस्लिम को उनके घरों से निकाल कर बुरी तरह पीटा, मस्जितों के झंडे उखाड़ कर फेंक दिए गए|"
[Translation: In Pratapgarh district's Lalganj, some people from the Muslim community entered a Durga Puja pandal and stopped the puja and threw out Ma Durga's flag. Post this, Hindu organisations got into action and beat each and every Muslim person mercilessly after dragging them out of their homes, and also threw away the flags from the mosques.]
WHAT WE FOUND
On carefully observing the video, we noticed that the number plate of the vehicle being toppled was from Chhattisgarh.
Taking a cue from here, we ran a reverse search using relevant keywords and came across the same video uploaded on Facebook on 8 October, which noted that the video showed violence in Kawardha.
On 3 October, a local got into an altercation with some people for name-calling and religious taunts.
Two days after the incident, the area saw rising communal tensions, when members of groups like Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal took to the streets for a "peaceful" protest against the police, alleging failure on their part.
We also found a tweet by UP Police's fact-checking Twitter account, which said that the video was not from Pratapgarh, but showed an incident in Kawardha, Chhattisgarh which happened on 5 October 2021.
Pratapgarh Police's Twitter account also tweeted about the clip, noting that "no such incident took place in Lalganj", adding that they were taking action against the persons spreading the false claim.
Next, we found a report in Dainik Bhaskar on the violence in Kawardha, which carried visuals similar to the ones in the claim. Here, we were able to identify a toppled motorbike, a damaged red hatchback and a white van on its side. All these three vehicles are seen being damaged in the viral video.
(Note: Swipe right to view screenshots of these vehicles from the viral video.)
Further, we got in touch with a local reporter in the area who confirmed to us that the video is from Kawardha.
Clearly, a video of communal violence in Chhattisgarh's Kawardha was falsely shared as a communal incident from Lalganj in UP's Pratapgarh.
(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at email@example.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.