Amid widespread protests against the centre’s ‘Agnipath’ scheme, a video showing a boy driving away a police officer with knives attached to a chain is going viral on social media platforms. Those who shared the clip claim that the video showed an army aspirant attacking the police in Bihar during the protest against new policy for recruitment to the armed forces. Newschecker found the video to be old and unrelated to the ongoing agitation against Agnipath scheme.
Facebook users uploaded the video with the phrase “Are Bihar Police Side Rah” (Bihar police move aside) “Army Lover” written over it.
Links to such posts can be found here, here and here.
Why Are Armed Forces Aspirants Protesting?
Protests erupted in several parts of the country, following the announcement of ‘Agnipath’ -a central government policy under which people between 17.5 and 21 years will be recruited in the armed forces initially for a four-year period. After the completion of the same, 25% will be re-inducted as permanent members of the armed forces and the remaining will be freed without gratuity and pension benefits. Despite the massive backlash, the Army has said the induction of soldiers under the recruitment plan will begin next month, while the Air Force issued a notification on Tuesday saying its registration process will start from June 24. Reportedly, the chief of three armed forces will meet PM Modi today to brief him on the ‘Agnipath’ recruitment scheme.
Also Read: Newspaper Clipping Of Youth Who Took Own Life Not Linked To Agnipath Scheme
We found that a video featuring the viral clip was uploaded by Facebook user @mdfaizan.raza.9678 on June 13, 2022 – a day before the Agnipath scheme was announced on June 14. We scanned through the comments section of the post and found several users pointing out that the video is from Kashmir. One such user @faisal.nawazg.9 commented that the video shows Muslims in Kashmir.
In addition, we spotted yellow and red flags and gas fumes in the viral video. Taking a clue, we conducted multiple Google reverse image searches on the keyframes of the video along with keywords like “Kashmir,” “Police,” “Muslim”, “Gas”, “Protests,” “Kashmir Protest,” “Lathicharge,” “Kashmir Police Gas” among others which led us to a report published in AP News, dated August 17, 2021, titled ‘Police fire tear gas to break up Muslim gathering in Kashmir.’
According to the caption, the image showed a ‘Kashmiri Shiite Muslim’ trying to hit a policeman with knives attached to iron chains, used for self flagellation, after being stopped during a religious procession in central Srinagar on August 17, 2021. On comparing a still from the viral video with this image, we could conclude that both show the same incident.
As per the report, the police fired tear gas and warning shots to disperse Muslims who attempted to participate in processions marking the Muslim month of Muharram. It added that scores of Muslims chanting religious and pro-freedom slogans took to the streets in the main city of Srinagar despite security restrictions banning the procession. The report further stated that forces also used batons to beat journalists covering the procession.
A simple keyword search for Srinagar Muharram 2021 led us to multiple news reports from August 2021 detailing the incident. The Hindu reported, “Several Shia mourners were detained and journalists allegedly thrashed by the police, as the Jammu and Kashmir administration barred Muharram procession in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk on Tuesday.” Adding that the officials said restrictions were put in place in and around Lal Chowk since Tuesday morning.
You can read other such reports here, here and here.
Further, we conducted a keyword search for “Police Tear Gas Kashmir Muharram 2021” on YouTube to look for video reports on the incident and found a video uploaded by AP Archive on August 22, 2021. At 1:40 minute, we found the viral clip showing a boy attacking and driving away a police personnel.
The viral video claiming to show an Agnipath protester clashing with Bihar Police is neither from the state nor related to recent protests against the Agnipath scheme. The video shows clashes between police and mourners who attempted to take out a Muharram procession in Srinagar in 2021.
Facebook Post By @mdfaizan.raza.9678 Dated June 13, 2022
Report By AP News Dated August 17, 2021
YouTube Video By AP Archive Dated August 22, 2021
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