Video From Muzaffarnagar Passed off as Post-Poll Violence in WB
The lineman, one Anuj Kumar, was thrashed as he refused to repair a cable inside a house without permission.
A video of a man being brutally thrashed by a crowd is being shared widely on social media with a claim that the incident happened in West Bengal. It further goes on to claim that such incidents will happen across the country if the ‘Hindus don’t wake up now’.
This comes in the backdrop of post-poll violence which was reported from across the state as the Trinamool Congress (TMC) won the recently concluded Assembly polls.
However, we found out that the video is from Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh and not West Bengal. The man, who was beaten up, was identified as one Anuj Kumar, an electric lineman who was thrashed as he refused to repair a cable inside a house without his senior’s permission.
The video was widely shared on Facebook and Twitter, with the caption, “बंगाल में आज जो हो रहा है वो आनेवाले 20/25 सालों में सम्पूर्ण भारत में होगा और इसीलिए सारे हिंदुत्ववादी दिनरात सोये हुए हिंदुओं को जगाने का प्रयास कर रहे है| जागो हिंदू जागो |”
[Translation: What is happening in Bengal today, will happen across India in the next 20-25 years. That's why all Hindus are trying to awaken the sleeping Hindus. Wake up, Hindus, wake up.]
WHAT WE FOUND
Using InVID, a Google Chrome extension, we were able to fragment the video into several keyframes. We then conducted a reverse image search on the keyframes which led us to a tweet that mentioned that the video was from Muzaffarnagar.
While going through the comments of the tweet we found a response by Muzaffarnagar police which acknowledged the incident and wrote that a case has been registered against seven named and 10-12 unidentified people in Bhopa police station under relevant sections. It further added that the accused will soon be arrested.
We then contacted the Investigating Officer of the case, Sanjay Raghav, who told us that the brawl happened in Sikri village recently.
He said that the lineman had gone to Sikri to fix a faulty electrical line, but refused to repair a cable inside a residence without the Electrical Board’s Junior Engineer’s (JE) permission.
“This enraged the residents and led to the clash. We have registered a case at Bhopa police station and the accused would soon be arrested. The lineman has been identified as one Anuj Kumar. There is no communal angle to the incident rather it was a personal matter.”Sanjay Raghav, Investigating Officer, Bhopa police.
NEWS REPORTS CORROBORATE THE DETAILS
We also looked for news reports using relevant keywords and came across an article on Amar Ujala which stated that lineman Anuj had gone there with two other linemen, Yogesh and Rehtu, who called the emergency police line (Dial-112) as they fled the scene. Anuj's clothes were ripped off and he was left seriously injured.
We found another news report by Jagran, which states that the incident sparked anger among the contract workers working at the power station. SHO Deepak Chaturvedi said that the police is searching all houses in the area to look for the 10-12 unnamed people, who were absconding.
Evidently, an unrelated video from Uttar Pradesh is being shared as post-poll violence in West Bengal.
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