By: Azra Ali
January 31 2024
Screenshots showing the viral videos circulating on social media.(Source: X/Facebook/ Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)
The two viral videos are from 2022 and show police action in Hyderabad and Uttar Pradesh, respectively. They predate the unrest in Mumbai's Mira Road.
Violence and communal unrest erupted in Mira Road's Naya Nagar, Mumbai — the capital of Maharashtra, India — on January 21, 2024, just one day before the consecration of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. According to an Indian Express report, the unrest began as a procession celebrating the temple's upcoming consecration passed through a Muslim-majority area.
The procession saw several local participants, including individuals in vehicles and on motorcycles. An incident involving a motorcycle with a modified silencer, which emitted a sound resembling gunfire, sparked rumors and panic among the area's residents. This led to an altercation between members of the two communities, quickly escalating into violence. The following day saw reports of stone-pelting and vandalism, prompting a swift response from the authorities. Footage also surfaced showing individuals vandalizing property and vehicles.
The Hindustan Times reported that the Mumbai Police arrested 19 individuals in connection to the communal unrest. Additionally, government authorities demolished several establishments in Muslim-dominated areas, citing encroachment. Efforts to bolster security and de-escalate tensions are currently underway.
What is the claim?
In this context, two videos circulating on social media purport to show police apprehending individuals involved in the Mira Road violence. The first video depicts police in riot gear dragging and lathi-charging men as they are being escorted to a police vehicle. The second, a compilation, starts with men behind bars, cutting to a scene where a police officer strikes men in a room with a stick as they plead for mercy. These videos were shared on X (formerly Twitter), claiming to depict the arrest of individuals after an "attack" on the Hindu procession for Lord Ram. Archived versions of these posts are accessible here, here, and here.
However, the claim shared with the videos is false.
1. The first video of police apprehending men is from Hyderabad, dated August 2022, where police detained people protesting against BJP MLA T Raja Singh over his remarks against Prophet Mohammed.
2. The second video is from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, where police thrashed protestors who were involved in a row over the remarks against Prophet Muhammad in June 2022.
Screenshots of the viral posts circulating on social media.(Source: X/Facebook/ Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)
How did we verify this?
On closely observing the video, it became clear that the police are speaking Telugu, suggesting the video's location is not Mumbai, where Marathi and Hindi are used predominately. A reverse image search of the video's screenshot directed us to a News Minute report on YouTube, titled "Protesters demand BJP MLA Raja Singh's arrest in Hyderabad," dated August 25, 2022.
The report matches the visuals seen in the viral video. It detailed protests in Hyderabad following BJP MLA Raja Singh's bail release on August 22, 2022, after his arrest for comments against Prophet Muhammad. Following stone-throwing incidents at police by youths, authorities conducted home raids and detentions on the night of August 24, 2022.
This video combines two smaller clips; the initial segment shows men in a cell, and the latter features police beating individuals with a stick. A reverse image search led us to a Jagran report from June 11, 2022, displaying visuals similar to those in the viral video.
These protests across Uttar Pradesh, sparked by controversial remarks about Prophet Muhammad, led to the arrest of 140 protesters after violence erupted on June 10, 2022, according to a Times of India report.
A comparison between the viral video and the Jagran news report from 2022. (Source: Jagran/X/ Screenshots)
A reverse image search on keyframes of the second part of the video — of police officers hitting men as they beg for mercy — led us to an X post by BJP MLA Shalabh Mani Tripathi, who had first shared the video on June 11, 2022. The MLA had shared the video with a caption saying that this was a "return gift to rioters" from the police.
At the time, his video celebrating police action on suspects in custody had sparked outrage, and media outlets had traced the location in the video to Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh. An investigation by NDTV showed that the family of the men had identified them and confirmed that the incident occurred in Saharanpur. The police subsequently launched an inquiry into the incident, and two weeks later, the men were released from jail.
A news report by The Week dated June 12, 2022, stated that the men seen in this video were among over 300 people arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police from eight districts of the state, including Saharanpur, after violence was reported on June 10, 2022.
The Times of India had reported on June 11, 2022, that protests broke out in several parts of Uttar Pradesh after Friday prayers on June 10, 2022, over former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma's remarks about Prophet Mohammed on a television news channel.
A comparison between the viral video and NDTV news report from 2022. (Source:X/NDTV/ Screenshots)
The above evidence establishes that the viral videos are not from Mumbai or related to the unrest in Mira Road in January 2024. Both predate the unrest and are from two different locations altogether.
Old videos depicting police actions in Hyderabad and Saharanpur from 2022 are being falsely linked to the recent unrest in Mira Road, Mumbai. These videos predate the January 2024 events and are unrelated to the incident. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false.