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HomeFact CheckViralOld And Unrelated Video From Odisha Shared As Attack On Saffron Flag...

Old And Unrelated Video From Odisha Shared As Attack On Saffron Flag Rally In West Bengal

Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Claim
Video of an attack on a saffron flag rally in West Bengal. 

Fact
Video dates back to April 2023, and shows an incident from Odisha’s Sambalpur. 

A video showing a large number of vehicles with saffron flags parked in the middle of a road, a few crashed on the ground, and a visibly enraged group of men shouting and creating a furore is being widely shared on social media platforms. In the video, a few men can be seen with batons, and some are seen throwing stones. Those sharing the video claim that it showed a recent incident from the TMC-ruled Bengal. Newschecker found the claim to be untrue.

Multiple social media users shared the video berating Mamata Banerjee, claiming “one can’t even hold a rally in Bengal with saffron flags,” a colour often associated with the Hindu religion. An X user also linked the video to the recent Ram Navami procession in the state.

Such posts can be seen here, here, here and here.

The video was also shared by Sudarshan News on his official X account with a caption, “Saffron flag insulted under Mamata didi’s regime. (translated from Hindi)” 

Screengrab from X post by @SudarshanNewsTV

The opposition leaders have often accused West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC leader Mamata Banerjee and her government of being “anti-Hindu” and doing “appeasement politics.” During a recent election rally, BJP President JP Nadda said, “Mamata Banerjee’s government believes in appeasement, dividing people and patronising terrorists.”

Also Read: Robert De Niro Confronting Pro-Palestinian Protesters? Here’s The Truth Behind Viral Video

Fact Check/Verification

A Google lens search on the keyframes of the viral video led us to a report by Odisha Bytes, dated April 13, 2023. Displaying an image similar to the visuals seen in the viral footage, the report elaborated on an incident of violence in Odisha’s Sambalpur during the Hanuman Jayanti procession.

Screengrab from Odisha Bytes website

The report stated, “The violence erupted when stones were thrown at the motorbike rally of Hanuman Jayanti Samanwaya Samiti while the procession was at Motijharan, en route to Dhankauda from Bhutapara Chhak. A shop and a two-wheeler were set on fire and several other vehicles were damaged.”

Saffron flag rally in west bengal ?
(L-R) Image featured in Odisha Bytes article and screengrab from viral video

In April 2023, multiple reports had detailed the violence in Odisha’s Sambalpur during the procession. A report by Hindustan Times, dated April 13, 2023, stated, “At least 15 persons including 10 police personnel were injured in Sambalpur town when 600 members of Hanuman Jayanti Samanwaya Samiti workers on 300 bikes were on their way to Durga Mandir Golbazar via Motijharan, Bhutpada, Raza nagar, Sumapalli, Kumbharpada and Daleipada.”

The reports added that the internet was suspended in the area for 48 hours in view of the violence. “Violence broke out between two communities in Odisha’s Sambalpur district on April 12. Internet services suspended, Section 144 imposed in the district after the violence,” a notification issued by the home department stated as per the report.

Also Read: Viral Video Claiming To Show Murder Of Goldy Brar Is Old And Unrelated

Multiple reports on the incident, like this, this and this, carried similar visuals of motor bikes with saffron flags as seen in the viral footage.

Screengrab from India Today website

Following this, we looked up keywords “Hanuman Jayanti” and “Sambalpur” on Facebook, and set the time period of search to 2023. This yielded multiple posts from 2023 carrying the viral footage, confirming that it is old. Such posts can be seen here, here and here.

Screengrabs from Facebook

We were also able to locate the exact location seen in the video – Motijharan road in Odisha’s Sambalpur- on Google Street View. The same can be seen here.

(L-R) Google image and screengrabs from viral video
(L-R) Google image and screengrab from viral video

Also Read: Did Congress Leader From Kerala Say That Muslim-run Restaurants Use Impotence Pills? Here’s The Truth Behind Viral Claim

Conclusion

We could thus conclude that an old video from Odisha has been shared to falsely claim an attack on saffron flag rally in West Bengal.

Result: False

Sources
Report By Odisha Bytes, Dated April 13, 2023
Report By Hindustan Times, Dated April 13, 2023
Google Images


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Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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