WB Cops Threw Bombs at BJP? Vijayvargiya’s Statement Lacks Proof

Times Now journalist who was reporting live from the rooftop tweeted that the cops were throwing smoke bombs.

Updated
WebQoof
4 min read
Field reporters confirmed that police threw smoke bombs at the protesters and not actual bombs, as claimed by social media users.
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On 8 October, BJP National Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya tweeted a video to claim that the West Bengal Police threw bombs at BJP workers from a rooftop when they were marching towards state secretariat, Nabanna, to protest against the alleged killing of its workers.

However, this claim lacks proof and when we got in touch with the journalists on the ground, they said that the police used smoke bombs to disperse the crowd.

CLAIM

Vijayvargiya shared the video mentioning that due to such acts of the West Bengal police, nearly 1,500 workers were allegedly injured. In the video, a man can be heard repeating the claim that police were throwing bombs.

The video shared by Kailash Vijayvargiya had garnered over 52,000 views at the time of writing this article.

You can view the archived version <a href="https://archive.is/S4pv3">here.</a>
You can view the archived version here.
(Source: Twitter/ Screenshot)

Laxman G, all India joint organising secretary of BJP’s student wing ABVP, shared the video making the same claim.

You can view the archived version <a href="https://archive.is/6JIZB">here</a>.
You can view the archived version here.
(Source: Twitter/ Screenshot)

Facebook user Gaurav Pradhan shared the video, that had been viewed over 7,000 times at the time of publishing the article, questioning whether the police were throwing bombs from the rooftop.

You can view the archived version <a href="https://archive.is/3NKHl">here</a>.
You can view the archived version here.
(Source: Facebook/ Screenshot)

Several social media users shared the video on Facebook with the same claim.

You can view the archived version <a href="https://archive.is/wip/a2QP0">here.</a>
You can view the archived version here.
(Source: Facebook/ Screenshot)

WHAT WE FOUND OUT

We found that Howrah City Police had tweeted on Friday, 9 October, saying that the police force that was stationed at the rooftop used ‘tear smoke’ when people allegedly started pelting stones.

WB Cops Threw Bombs at BJP? Vijayvargiya’s Statement Lacks Proof
(Source: Twitter/ Screenshot)

Times Now correspondent Sreyashi Dey, who was reporting from the same rooftop in Howrah Maidan and can be seen in the viral video, tweeted that the cops made use of “smoke bombs” to disperse the crowd.

WB Cops Threw Bombs at BJP? Vijayvargiya’s Statement Lacks Proof
(Source: Twitter/ Screenshot)

Times Now aired a bulletin in which Dey can be seen giving a view of the situation on ground. She goes on to tell how the police had placed two water cannons, riot vehicles, barricades while on the other side, one could see BJP members beginning to assemble.

A reporter, who was present on the ground, on the condition of anonymity told The Quint that they weren’t actual bombs being thrown by the police but only smoke bombs.

“It’s just another kind of tear gas. It has the same properties like stinging smell, smoke and causes discomfort,” the reporter added.

Speaking to The Quint, another reporter requesting anonymity, said, “I wasn’t at the spot at that time but whatever I have learnt, they were smoke bombs that the police were throwing to disperse the mob.”

Further, another reporter who was present in the area, told Alt News,“The police could not have used bombs. If you notice carefully, the object in their hand is cylindrical in shape, consistent with how a smoke bomb or tear gas shell looks.”

The object in yellow shows what the cops were throwing from the rooftop.
The object in yellow shows what the cops were throwing from the rooftop.
(Photo: Altered by The Quint/ Screengrab of video)

Mentioning the technicalities of how a bomb is thrown usually, the reporter added, “Moreover, they did not hurl the object but flung it in the air like underarm bowling. A bomb needs to be thrown at a certain velocity so that it explodes upon contact with a surface. It is always thrown with force. I’ve covered enough clashes to know that what the cops threw was not a bomb.”

A report in The Indian Express mentioned that police used water cannons, fired tear gas shells and lathi-charged the protesters.

As opposed to Vijayvargiya’s claim, reporters on the ground say that the police threw smoke bombs at the protesters and not actual bombs. Clearly, his claim lacks evidence.

(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 webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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