A video of a mob chasing a man through the streets and beating him up is going viral on social media. Users claim that it shows MLA Ramkesh Meena from Gangapur city, Rajasthan, who was being chased by a mob after he ordered the removal of a saffron flag that was hoisted atop a fort in Rajasthan.
However, we found that the video is not related to the recent incident where a saffron flag on top of the Amagarh Fort in Jaipur was removed in the MLA's presence. The short clip being shared in from 2018, when a crowd chased Meena on the day of a Bharat Bandh protest against the SC/ST Act.
Social media users have shared the post with different captions in Hindi and English, which connect the video to the recent flag removal issue. The text shared by users states that MLA Ramkesh Meena was being chased by 'Sanatanis' in revenge after he desecrated the saffron flag.
This post by user Subodh Sharma was viewed over 18,800 times on Facebook at the time of writing this article.
WHAT WE FOUND
We used video verification tool InVID to obtain keyframes from the video and then conducted a reverse image search on those frames.
The results led us to a video uploaded on YouTube in April 2018, titled पूर्व विधायक रामकेश मीना को गंगापुर सिटी में दौड़ा दौड़ाकर पीटा . (Former MLA Ramkesh Meena chased and beaten up in Gangapur City.)
Using the location as an additional keyword and filtering results by time on Google, we found a News18 report dated 7 April 2018, which carried a screenshot from the viral video.
As per this report, people in Gangapur City, Meena's constituency, were protesting against the changes made in the SC/ST Act on 2 April, during a Bharat Bandh called for the same reason.
The protest turned aggressive when some miscreants among the protestors started pelting stones and committing arson.
News18 reported that Ramkesh Meena, who was also protesting, arrived at the scene to reason with and calm the protestors, but the enraged mob did not listen to a word and started attacking Meena.
The Quint spoke to ASI Mohan Lal from the District Special Branch of Sawai-Madhopur Police, who confirmed that the video was old.
He added that the recent incident where a saffron flag was removed from a fort in Ramkesh Meena's presence did not turn violent and that locals upset with the MLA's actions were planning a protest.
WHAT IS THE RECENT FLAG INCIDENT ABOUT?
On 23 July, a group of people from the Meena community in Rajasthan took down a saffron flag that was hoisted on top of the Amagarh Fort in Jaipur in MLA Ramkesh Meena's presence.
The group, which considers the fort a historic monument for their community, alleged that the locals' religious sentiments were hurt when members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) put the flag there.
The Meena community identifies themselves as tribals with a separate set of codes. Ramkesh Meena tweeted regarding the incident, saying that the fort contains the blood and sweat of the tribals. He added that playing with their heritage would not be tolerated and that "misadventure will get a befitting reply."
However, it is clear that this video is an old one and has nothing to do with the recent incident.