Old clip of mob violence at a protest in Gujarat falsely linked to unrest in Haryana

By: Umme Kulsum
August 2 2023

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Old clip of mob violence at a protest in Gujarat falsely linked to unrest in Haryana


The Verdict False

The video of a mob vandalizing a bus was captured in 2019 in Surat where a demonstration was held to protest mob lynchings.

Claim ID 33a677d7


Communal clashes broke out in the north Indian state of Haryana on Monday after a mob tried to stop a procession by right-wing groups in Nuh district. According to news reports, six people were killed, and several others were injured in the violence, which soon reached other parts of the state.

As communal tensions still keep Haryana on edge, a video showing a mob smashing the windows of a blue bus with bricks and stones is being shared on social media with the claim that it is from Haryana. Sharing the 114-second-long video, a user on Twitter (now called X) wrote: "Property bought with taxpayers' hard-earned money is being vandalised by a peaceful community." The viral hashtags "#Gurugram", "#NuhVoilence," "#Haryana," "#Haryanaviolence" and "#Gurgaon" were also used in the post. The post, lined with a communal undertone, had gained more than 43,000 views and over 100 retweets at the time of publishing. Archive versions of the posts can be accessed here and here.

However, this video is not from Haryana and predates the current unrest in the state.

In fact

On analyzing the video closely, one can observe a faint 'G' at the beginning of the number plate of the bus around the 0:54 timestamp. The word 'Sitilink' written on the left rear-end bus can also be seen then. Research revealed that the term 'Sitilink' refers to Sitilink Limited, which is part of a project aimed at boosting public transportation in Surat, a city in Gujarat—where the number plates start with 'GJ.' Sitilink Limited, a special purpose vehicle(SPV), is a subsidiary of the Surat Municipal Corporation and was incorporated as a company in 2013, according to a document available on the website of 'Smart Cities'—a government mission under the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs.

We also came across many video reports by local news outlets which included similar visuals of the bus seen in the viral video. While we could not spot the exact clip in any news report, a vandalized blue bus, very similar to one in the clip in question, was spotted in a video report by TV9 Gujarati around the 4:03 timestamp. The video report was uploaded on YouTube on July 5, 2019, with the title, "Rally against mob lynching incidents turns violent in Surat, police force deployed."

Logically Facts was able to geolocate the spot where the viral video was filmed. Using Google Street View and visual cues in the video—such as a building in the background and a round red umbrella-like structure on a roof—we established that the clip was shot around Swami Vivekanand Circle in the Nanpura area of Surat. This confirms that the viral video is from Surat and not Haryana. 

According to a report by The Times of India, a protest rally against rising incidents of mob lynchings was organized in Surat on July 5, 2019. The rally turned violent, and clashes between the protestors and the police were reported from the Nanpura area. The police fired in the air and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse the crowd. The rally's organizers were also taken into custody, the report added. A report by The Indian Express also corroborated these details.

As far as the situation in Haryana is concerned, so far, a total of 116 people have been arrested in connection with the violence, and prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) have been issued in several parts of the state. 

The verdict

An old video of clashes that erupted at a demonstration against mob lynchings in Surat in 2019 is being falsely linked to the recent violence in Haryana. Therefore, we mark the claim false.

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