Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
A viral video of a police van being vandalised is being circulated with a false claim that it shows post-poll violence in West Bengal. However, we found that this video is from January 2021 and the incident took place in Odisha’s Bhadrak district.
This comes after the violence in the state post the recently concluded Assembly elections in which the Trinamool Congress (TMC) emerged victorious. Nearly a dozen people have reportedly died. Both the BJP and TMC have claimed that their workers have been killed in the violence.
The claim along with the video reads: “Policeman came to control the situation & then TMC goons attacks on police. (sic)”
Twitter user Arunesh shared the video that had garnered over 51,000 views at the time of publishing the article. However, the tweet was later taken down.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
While looking through the comments on the now deleted tweet carrying the viral video, we found that a user had suggested that it is from Odisha.
The YouTube link shared by the user showed similar visuals as in the viral video and was uploaded in January 2021 by Kalinga TV. The title, along with the video, read: ‘Locals Sets Police Van Ablaze After Youth Dies Allegedly Being Beaten Up By Cops.’
On comparing the viral video with the one uploaded by Kanak News in January, we found several similar elements in both, ascertaining that it’s the same location.
As per an article published by Odisha TV, the death of a person, identified as Bapi Mahalik, in a village in Tihidi block in Bhadrak district triggered locals who set a police van on fire.
The New Indian Express reported that the police had visited the victim’s house to interrogate his brother-in-law but on sensing trouble, Mahalik started running. Police chased him as he jumped into a pond with heavy algae and drowned.
The incident triggered the local who protested and reportedly blocked the Bhadrak-Chandbali road for two hours.
We spoke to a local reporter who confirmed that the video is from Bhadrak district in Odisha. Even a police official confirmed to The Quint that the video is indeed from Bhadrak district in Odisha.
“The incident took place under Tihidi police limits in the month of January. Some people had then started attacking the local police,” the police official said.
Evidently, visuals of an incident that took place in Odisha in January 2021 were shared to falsely claim that it shows post-poll violence in West Bengal.
(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.)