A 23 second video showing an elderly Muslim man being thrashed by police officers is being widely shared by social media users, claiming to show ‘radicalised Hindutva cops’ attacking a Muslim man. The video is being shared in the context of recent demolitions in Uttar Pradesh after protests over Nupur Sharma’s remarks on the prophet, and police crackdown on protesters in Jharkhand, both of which have come under intense criticism.
Controversial ‘journalist’ CJ Wereleman was among those who shared the viral video, claiming to show cops attacking a Muslim man. Posted on June 15, his tweet had received over 9,000 retweeets and over 11,000 likes at last count. See the archived version of the tweet here.
To verify the authenticity of the video, Newschecker examined the posts and checked the comments section of the video to find a tweet by Bareilly police pointing out that the video is from 2020 when a complete lockdown was implemented to curb the spread of Covid-19. “Concerned video is from 2020 when complete lockdown was implemented.unlawful gathering tried to misbehave with police and police used mild force to disperse the crowd so that COVID infection would not spread,” the tweet read.
On conducting a keyword search, we found several reports from 2020 that carried that same video.
According to reports, several people attacked a police team that was trying to enforce a lockdown in Karampur Chaudhary village in UP’s Bareilly district where several people had collected on the road and some of them were playing cards. As the policemen tried to make people return to their homes, some people attacked the police team and pelted stones due to which Additional Superintendent of Police, Abhishek Varma was injured in the leg. The Bareilly Police also issued a statement to the media in this regard on April 6 2020.
A video from 2020 showing an elderly Muslim man being beaten for violating COVID lockdown norms in Bareilly is being misrepresented alleging police brutality on Muslims in the aftermath of state action against protesters in Uttar Pradesh.