(Editor's Note: This story was first published on 5 August 2022 and is being republished after Uttar Pradesh Congress shared the video misidentifying the accused as a BJP MLA from Gyanpur on their Twitter handle.)
A video showing some men beating a person has gone viral on social media with a claim that the abuser was a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader from the state of Madhya Pradesh and the victim was the Panchayat Secretary in a village in Rewa.
However, we found that the claim is false. We found the video was shared earlier in April and it was from Uttar Pradesh's Shahjahanpur. The accused persons were identified by the police and an FIR was also registered.
The main accused was identified as a Prateek Tiwari, a local strongman in Shahjahanpur and the victim was identified as Rajiv Bharadwaj. Tiwari beat Bharadwaj up because the victim could not provide whereabouts of a boy who was working for Tiwari.
The video was shared with a caption that read, "मध्य प्रदेश के रीवा में पंचायत सचिव ने हिस्सा नहीं पहुंचाया तो भाजपा के जोशीले नेता जी ने पंचायत सचिव को बेरहमी से पीटा उठक बैठक लगवाई और मुर्गा बनाकर रखा गया है".
[Translation: In Rewa, Madhya Pradesh, when the Panchayat Secretary did not give money, the BJP leader beat him up mercilessly.]
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
According to the report, the abuser was one Prateek Tiwari, who is a local strongman in UP's Shahjahanpur. We found other news reports that talked about the attack.
The reports also said that Samajwadi Party's official Twitter handle shared the video. When we checked the tweet put out by SP, we found Shahjahanpur police's response to the incident published on 16 April.
In the tweet, Sanjay Kumar, the Additional Superintendent of Police, said that the main accused, Prateek Tiwari, assaulted Rajiv Bharadwaj.
"The victim was beaten as he could not give whereabouts of a boy who used to work for Tiwari. A case has been registered against Tiwari and five other people," Kumar added.
We accessed a copy of the FIR registered at Sadar Bazar police station in Shahjahanpur on 16 April 2022 (354). According to the FIR, the attack took place a month before the video first went viral on 12 March. The FIR was registered against two named accused Prateek Tiwari, Samittar and four other unknown people under sections 147, 323, and 506 of the IPC.
We also conducted a keyword search for news reports on any BJP leader attacking a panchayat secretary and were not able to find any such report.
Evidently, an old video from Uttar Pradesh was shared with a false claim that a BJP leader from MP abused a Panchayat Secretary.
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