Muslim mob attacks police station, assault officers, after police action against cow smugglers.
Video shows crowd gathering at station demanding action in local dispute, no cow-slaughter or smuggling angle.
Several social media users are sharing a 1:26-second video showing an irate mob surrounding and harassing officers, purportedly at a police station, claiming that the incident happened at Damoh, Madhya Pradesh, after the local police took action against “cow smugglers”.
“Police took action against cow smugglers in Damoh, MP, and in retaliation a 2000+ Jihadi Mob attacked Police Station & police officers…,” read one such claim.
Newschecker first ran a keyword search for “Damoh police station mob,” which led us to this Indian Express report, dated February 6, 2024, stating that a dispute with a tailor in Damoh snowballed into a protest with a case registered against 30-40 people in connection with the gathering outside the police station.
“On Saturday, during a dispute that broke out between a local tailor and his customer over delay in stitching clothes, a cleric was allegedly manhandled. Following this, a crowd gathered outside the local police station and demanded the arrest of the men accused of manhandling the cleric. One man from the crowd, identified as Akram Khan Rain, used a loudspeaker to make threats of violence if authorities did not take action in 24 hours,” read the report, adding that Madhya Pradesh chief minister Mohan Yadav had ordered an investigation into an incident involving two communities in Damoh city, after a video emerged of the inflammatory speech outside the local police station. Similar reports can be seen here, here and here, none of which mention that the mob had gathered following police action against cow smugglers or there was any cow-slaughter angle to the incident.
“Four persons had an argument with a tailor over stitching clothes which led to a scuffle between them on Saturday night, during which a cleric was also allegedly manhandled…Some time later, a mob gathered outside police station to protest, and some youths in the crowd tried to give the incident a communal colour, Superintendent of Police Sunil Tiwari said. Forty persons in the crowd have been booked for rioting and making inflammatory speeches and they are being identified, the SP informed,” read the Print report, dated February 4, 2023
“A petty dispute occurred on Saturday between one Lallu Sharma and tailor Ansar Khan over the delivery of stitched clothes on time. Sharma and his associates misbehaved with one Hafiz (a Muslim cleric) when he intervened,” Damoh’s Kotwali police station in-charge Anand Singh reportedly told Daily Pioneer, adding that later, a large number of people gathered at the police station demanding to arrest and bulldoze the house of the accused (from another community) within two hours.
“The cleric and some other persons were also trying to pacify the crowd, he said, adding that based on a complaint lodged by the tailor, police registered a case and arrested two men on Saturday night…Akram Khan (who was issuing threats of violence on a mobile loudspeaker) and two of his associates have been detained,” read the Daily Pioneer report, dated February 6, 2024.
We then reached out to Damoh’s superintendent of police (SP), Sunil Tiwari, who confirmed that there was no cow-slaughter or cow-smuggling angle to the story. “The incident was a small dispute between a tailor and a customer as the tailor had not got the clothes readied in time. Then rumours went around that the accused beat up the cleric from the nearby masjid who intervened in the dispute. So, a crowd had then gathered outside the police station to know the whole story. The cleric himself came to the station and assured the crowd that he was okay. However, some members of the crowd shouted out slogans that were not appropriate, following which we registered a case against 40 persons under sections 153A [promoting enmity between different groups], 143 [unlawful assembly] and 147 [rioting] of IPC. Out of them, seven have been rounded up and produced in court. The process of identification of the rest of them is going on,” said Tiwari.
Viral video of crowd at police station in Madhya Pradesh falsely claimed as Muslim mob attacking officers after their action against cow smugglers.