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.
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.
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.
Laxman G, all India joint organising secretary of BJP’s student wing ABVP, shared the video making the same claim.
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.
Several social media users shared the video on Facebook with the same claim.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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