Old Images Circulated as Those of ‘Post-Poll Violence’ in Bengal
Several incidents of violence have been reported from West Bengal after results were announced on 2 May.
Old Images are being shared on social media with a claim that they show violence by workers and supporters of the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) after the results of the 2021 Assembly elections were declared.
Though incidents of violence have been reported out of Bengal and nearly a dozen people have reportedly died, these images do not show the current situation.
The aforementioned images are being shared on social media with #BengalBurning and #BengalViolence and claims insinuating that this was done by TMC workers after election results were announced in the state. They are also being used to voice support for the implementation of a President’s Rule in the state.
To view an archived version of the claim, click here.
WHAT WE FOUND
On 2 May, after the Trinamool Congress (TMC) won the 2021 Assembly polls in West Bengal, incidents of mob violence were reported from several areas in the state.
Houses and vehicles of several Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates and supporters were allegedly attacked and a party office at Arambagh was set on fire – images and videos of which started doing the rounds on social media. However, not all the images are recent and they don’t show the current situation in the state.
We found another article in Hindustan Times from 2018 which used the same image, attributed to news agency PTI.
The tweet was posted on 14 May 2019, showing images from a clash between BJP workers and TMC student activists, during Amit Shah’s roadshow in support of BJP leaders in West Bengal.
Clashes broke out between BJP supporters and student activists of the Left and Trinamool Congress during Amit Shah's roadshow in 2019. The clashes allegedly started after student activists of both the Left and the TMCP allegedly shouted slogans against Shah.
We ran a reverse image search on the image, which led us to a news report published by The Deccan Herald in December 2019. The same image was used in this article and the photo caption mentions that it was taken in Howrah during the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
The picture was attributed to news agency PTI. We checked PTI's archives for the image and found the photograph from 2018.
Violence broke out in various districts across West Bengal following the Panchayat elections, which left at least 12 dead and more than 70 people injured.
Clearly, old images from 2018 and 2019 depicting communal and poll violence in West Bengal have been shared on social media in context of the 2021 Assembly election results.
(Update: This story has been updated with more pictures which are being circulated with a false claim that they show the current situation in West Bengal.)
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