Fact Check: Video of communal scuffle from Damoh in MP falsely linked to ongoing Haldwani riots

Haldwani is burning, and the Haldwani riot are the Hashtags trending on X today.

By Sunanda Naik  Published on  9 Feb 2024 1:12 PM GMT
Fact Check: Video of communal scuffle from Damoh in MP falsely linked to ongoing Haldwani riots

Hyderabad: A video of a cop bravely handling a large mob is being shared on social media linking it with the riots occurring in Haldwani, Uttarakhand.

“#AnandSinghThakur owned peaceful community single handedly, #Haldwani (sic)” wrote an X user who shared the video.

Similar posts can be seen here and here.

According to news outlets such as ANI, the unrest began after a demolition drive on February 8, where the administration allegedly demolished illegally built buildings on government lands.

According to Indian Express, ‘the administration demolished a conducted a demolition drive where a mosque and a madrasa stood, allegedly on Nazool land, in Banbhoolpura area.’ The widespread riots after the demolition led to five deaths so far.

Fact Check

NewsMeter found that the claim is misleading as the video is not from Haldwani but from Madhya Pradesh.

The video has an onscreen caption that reads, “Muslim mob surrounded a Police station in Damoh, Madhya Pradesh” with the watermark ‘Desidudewithsign’. To find the origin and context of the video, we searched for the username and found it on X. We also found the same video on their account, with the caption, “Real life Singham vs Peaceful Mu$lim Mob #MadhyaPradesh.”

We also found the video report by the Times of India with the title, ‘Damoh cop surrounded by Muslim mob’ dated February 6. According to the report, “Damoh cop, Shri Anand Singh Thakur is surrounded by a Muslim mob & a man in a green shirt was the one who threatened to ‘chop cop’s hands’.”

We found the same video reports uploaded on YouTube channels of Times Now Navbharat, The Lallantop and Zee News stating the incident to be from Damoh, Madhya Pradesh and not Haldwani, Uttarakhand.

Taking this as a cue, we performed a keyword search and found media reports in Daily Pioneer.

According to the Daily Pioneer, on February 3, Lallu Sharma and his three friends clashed with Ansar Khan, a Muslim tailor, over delayed outfits. The matter escalated when Hafiz (a Muslim cleric) intervened, Sharma and his friends misbehaved with him and started physically assaulting him. This resulted in a large number of people gathering at the Kotwali police station demanding arrest and a man identified as Akram Khan announced on the loudspeaker, allegedly threatening to cut the accused’s hands and chop their throats if the police failed to take action against the accused.

In the media reports, the policeman seen handling the crowd is identified as Kotwali police station in-charge Anand Singh.

Lastly, taking to X, a local journalist tweeted a video statement by Anand Singh throwing light on the scuffle. The caption of the tweet reads, “Anand Singh, town inspector of Damoh’s Kotwali Police station has emerged as a lone wolf in Damoh’s Imam assault episode. He not only showed bravery before the crowd but also handled the situation tactfully. In just 3 mins, he burst all the propaganda around the Damoh incident.”

Hence, we conclude that the viral video occurred on February 3 in Damoh in Madhya Pradesh and not in Haldwani, Uttarakhand.

Claim Review:Video of a cop handling mob amidst Haldwani riots.
Claimed By:Social media user
Claim Reviewed By:NewsMeter
Claim Source:X
Claim Fact Check:False
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