The video clip of a crowd barging into a building has been shared by people on social media with a false claim that it shows people storming into a polling booth in West Bengal’s Cooch Behar during the fourth phase of voting.
The viral claim comes after at least four people died as central forces opened fire after coming under attack in Sitalkuchi in the Cooch Behar district.
However, we found that the video, which dates back to 2019, was from Kyamgei Muslim Makha Leikai polling station in Manipur. As per news reports, angry voters stormed into the polling booth and destroyed the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines following allegations of EVM malfunction.
One of the tweets with the viral video had a caption that read, “Mamata Banerjee's supporters mob storming a polling booth in coochbihar, West Bengal. EXCELLENT job done by the CRPF in pushing away the goon. [sic]”
WHAT WE FOUND
Using the InVID Google Chrome Extension, we extracted keyframes from the viral video and ran a reverse image search on some of the frames. While going through the search results, we came across a tweet posted by East Mojo, a mobile-first digital news platform from Northeast India.
The tweets posted on 18 April 2019 said that the footage was from Manipur, where voters stormed into a polling booth and destroyed EVMs and VVPAT machines following alleged EVM malfunction. The location of the incident was specified as 6/10 Kyamgei Muslim Makha Leikai.
We looked up the incident on Google and found a report by PTI published in Business Standard.
According to the report, “In one of the booths at Kiyamgei Muslim Makha locality in Imphal East district, unidentified men stormed into a polling station around 11.30 am and broke EVMs and VVPATs, claiming that “proxy voting” was being carried out in the station, Chief Electoral Officer PK Singh told PTI.”
Evidently, a video clip from the 2019 general elections was shared with a false claim that it shows the violence that took place in West Bengal’s Cooch Behar during the fourth phase of the ongoing Assembly elections.