Twitter users shared a video claiming Mamata Banerjee’s supporters stormed a polling booth in Cooch Behar district amid ongoing State Assembly elections in West Bengal.
The one-minute fifty-second video in context shows a group of people trying to barge into a building, some with sticks in their hands. A man can be seen throwing stones at a board hung in front of the building. The second half of the video shows security personnel with sticks and guns dispersing the mob away.
One Twitter user shared this video on 13 April with the caption, “Mamata Banerjee’s supporters mob storming a polling booth in coochbihar, West Bengal. EXCELLENT job done by the CRPF in pushing away the goons…#WestBengalPolls”
An archived version of the claim can be viewed here.
Another user shared this caption in response to Banerjee’s tweet on 11 April.
A few more examples can be seen below.
This claim is shared days after the fourth phase of West Bengal’s State Assembly elections are completed. The state is gearing up for phase five on 17 April when citizens will be casting their vote for 45 seats in four districts.
Events took a violent turn during the fourth phase of elections in Cooch Behar last week. Four persons including an 18-year old were reported to be killed in a firing by CISF personnel at a polling station in Sitalkuchi, Cooch Behar.
Fact Check / Verification
Through a combination of Google reverse image search of the video’s keyframes and a relevant keyword search we found a 2019 news report published by NDTV which includes the video in context.
Titled, “General Election 2019: Voting Disrupted After Violence Erupts In Manipur Polling Station,” the NDTV story was published in April two years back. As per this article, “voting in the Kiyamgei High Madrassa polling station in Imphal east district of Manipur was disrupted after voters turned violent over alleged misconduct of the presiding officer of the booth.”
“Security personnel deployed in the polling station fired several rounds of gunshot and resorted to lathi-charge to put the situation under control.”
We also found the video in context uploaded by a Youtube channel in April 2019. Titled, “India Elections 2019: Violence disrupts polling in Inner Manipur,” it’s received over 9,000 views so far. The description reads, “#CRPF personnel opened blank fire and resorted to lathi-charge to disperse a crowd in #Manipur. The crowd allegedly tried to barge into Kyamgei Muslim Makha Leikaik polling station of Inner Manipur seat.”
East Mojo and Firstpost also shared this video on 18 April 2019 stating that voting was disrupted at polling station 6/10 Kyamgei Muslim Makha Leikai in Inner #Manipur, and that shots were fired by security personnel to disperse the mob.
You can read about this claim in our Hindi fact-check as well.
Our research makes it clear that the video in context showing a mob disrupting voting is not from a polling booth in Cooch Behar, West Bengal. The video is from Inner Manipur’s polling station 6/10 Kyamgei Muslim Makha Leikai during India’s 2019 General Elections.
Result: Misplaced Context
2019 Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbJgusiK4ho&t=95s
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