Old, unrelated video falsely shared to claim Andhra politician assaulted a Dalit woman

By: Rohith Gutta
January 4 2024

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Old, unrelated video falsely shared to claim Andhra politician assaulted a Dalit woman

Screenshots of the viral post on social media claiming that it is a video of a TDP leader attacking a Dalit woman in Andhra Pradesh (Source: X/Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The CCTV video captured in 2020 shows a tourism official assaulting a female employee in Andhra Pradesh's Nellore.

Claim ID 12661563

(Trigger Warning: This story contains descriptions of distressing visuals and mentions of assault. Reader discretion is advised.)

What is the claim?

A video is being shared on social media platforms such as X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook with the claim that it depicts a Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader assaulting a Dalit woman (Dalit refers to members of historically marginalized groups in India.) TDP is the main opposition party in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

The video shows a man approaching a woman inside what seems to be an office and assaulting her with a stick, while other men attempt to intervene and take the stick away from him. Archived versions of similar posts claiming that the Dalit woman was assaulted by a TDP leader can be accessed here, here, here, and here

Screenshots of the viral post on social media (Source: X/Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, it's important to note that neither the woman in the video is a Dalit nor is the man assaulting her a TDP leader.

What did we find?

A reverse image search on keyframes from the video led us to a news report by the Telugu news channel ETV Andhra Pradesh from June 30, 2020, featuring the same video. According to this report, the video depicts CCTV footage capturing a manager at the regional office of the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, assaulting a female subordinate.

The report revealed that during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, when the woman confronted her manager for not wearing a mask in the office, he physically assaulted her. The incident, which occurred on June 27, 2020, was recorded by CCTV cameras. The report confirmed that a case was registered against the manager, and NDTV also supported this account in their report.

Logically Facts accessed the First Information Report (FIR) filed at the Dargamitta Police Station in Nellore based on the complaint of the female employee. As per the FIR, the manager, identified as C Bhaskar, had a history of animosity with the woman. On June 27, 2020, when the woman questioned him about not wearing a mask in the office, especially when the upper floor was being used as a quarantine ward, he verbally abused her, physically dragged her from her chair, grabbed her by her hair, and assaulted her on the head with a wooden stick.

Three other employees intervened to stop him and rescue her. Bhaskar was subsequently arrested and booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including charges related to causing grievous harm and assaulting a woman with the intent to outrage her modesty. The FIR also specified that the woman belonged to the Kamma caste, which is not part of the Scheduled Castes (SC), an administrative category encompassing Dalits, according to the Scheduled Caste list for the state of Andhra Pradesh by the Government of India. There is no indication in the FIR that Bhaskar is associated with TDP.

Logically Facts also contacted TV Subbarao, Inspector of Dargamitta Police Station, who confirmed that the incident occurred at the tourism office in Nellore. He mentioned that a chargesheet was filed in the case, and the trial is ongoing. As per the local judiciary website, the case is at the trial stage and is being heard by a Nellore Junior Civil judge.

Logically Facts also reached out to the complainant for a statement and is awaiting a response. Any update will be included in this story.

The verdict

The video, dating back to 2020, depicts a senior Andhra tourism official assaulting his subordinate female employee after she questioned him for not wearing a mask. This video was falsely circulated with the claim that a TDP leader assaulted a Dalit woman. Consequently, this claim has been marked as false.

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