By: Rohith Gutta
November 7 2023
Screenshot of the viral post on social media. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)
This is a 2018 video from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh and captures a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councilor thrashing a police official.
What is the claim?
A user on X (formerly Twitter) shared a video with the claim that it shows a municipal councilor from the YSR Congress Party, the ruling party in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, assaulting a police official. The video was shared on November 3 with the caption, "This is the situation in Andhra. When a police official questioned a YSRCP councilor why he was misbehaving with a woman, the councilor started trashing the policeman. They are living with a feudal mindset (translated from Telugu)."
The 30-second video, which has no audio, shows a man in a white shirt hitting a police official inside what appears to be a restaurant, while another man in a white t-shirt is seen trying to push a woman out of the premises.
The video received almost 120,000 views at the time of publishing. An archived version of the tweet can be viewed here.
Screenshot of the post on social media (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)
However, this video is from Uttar Pradesh.
What did we find?
A reverse image search led us to an extended version of the video uploaded by the X account of news agency ANI dedicated to sharing news updates from Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Posted on October 20, 2018, the 1:46-second video shows the same visuals as seen in the now-viral clip. ANI UP/Uttarakhand had shared the video with the caption: "BJP Councillor Manish thrashes a Sub-Inspector who came to his (Manish's) hotel with a lady lawyer and got into an argument with a waiter. The councillor has been arrested (sic)."
The video uploaded by ANI in 2018 (Source: X/ANI/Screenshots)
We looked for more details about this incident and found a report by The Indian Express published on October 20, 2018. The report, which carried a screenshot from the viral video, identified the person assaulting the police official as Manish Kumar, a BJP councilor from Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. According to a 2018 report by The Times of India (TOI) on the incident, sub-inspector Sukhpal Singh Pawar was visiting a restaurant with a female lawyer friend, and soon, an argument broke out between them and the restaurant staff over a delay in service. The report added that the BJP councilor, who was also reportedly the restaurant's owner, intervened, and soon, the argument snowballed, and the councilor assaulted the police official. The councilor was arrested and, two weeks later, was released on bail, another report by The Indian Express stated. Other news reports by NDTV, India Today, and The Quint corroborated similar details about the incident.
In 2021, TOI reported that he was found dead in his car with a bullet wound.
The above evidence shows that the video in question is not from Andhra Pradesh but an old video from Uttar Pradesh.
A video from 2018 of a BJP councilor hitting a police official in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, has been shared as that of an incident from Andhra Pradesh involving a YSRCP councilor. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.