Video of police dispelling protestors in Mumbai shared to show unrest in Uttarakhand's Haldwani

By: Umme Kulsum
February 14 2024

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Video of police dispelling protestors in Mumbai shared to show unrest in Uttarakhand's Haldwani

Screenshot of posts claiming the video is from Haldwani. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The clip is from Ghatkopar in Mumbai, Maharashtra, where police baton-charged people opposing the arrest of religious preacher Maulana Mufti Salman.

Claim ID b82d0383

What is the claim?

In the aftermath of the administration in the north Indian town of Haldwani, Uttarakhand, demolishing a mosque and a madrasa (Islamic center for elementary education), which led to unrest in the area, a video of people running helter-skelter as police personnel chase them with batons is circulating widely on social media. Several social media users have linked the video to Haldwani, where at least five people were killed and several others were injured in the violent clashes that erupted after the demolition.

A user on X (formerly Twitter) shared the video with the caption, "Constitutional policemen lathi-charge on Muslims in Haldwani, Uttarakhand, the new India created by BJP (roughly translated from Hindi)." The post was reshared over 4,000 times and had 200,000 views at the time of writing. Archived versions of the post and similar others can be viewed here, here, and here.

Screenshot of the claims made online. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the viral video has been wrongly linked to the unrest in Haldwani.

What did we find?

Our research showed that the video is from Ghatkopar in Mumbai, Maharashtra. 

One of the parked vehicles visible in the video displayed a number plate with a registration number starting with the letters "MH 03." According to Maharashtra's transport department website, the code "MH 03" is assigned to Mumbai East.

A screengrab from the viral clip showing the parked vehicle's number plate. (Source:X)

Taking this clue, we conducted a Google search with relevant keywords. We then came across a Facebook post that shared the same video on February 6. The accompanying caption was written in Marathi and stated that the video captured an incident from Ghatkopar in East Mumbai.

A video report by Mirror Now, uploaded on YouTube on February 5, featured background visuals resembling those seen in the circulated video. The vibrant sidewalk panels covered in purple, yellow, and orange designs seen in the viral clip can be spotted around the 0:29 timestamp in the YouTube video. 

Comparison of visuals from the Mirror Now report uploaded on YouTube and the viral clip. (Source: YouTube/Mirror Now)

According to Mirror Now's video report, supporters of Mumbai-based Islamic preacher Mufti Salman Azhari, held a protest after Gujarat Police arrested him for allegedly giving a hate speech in the latter's jurisdiction. The Gujarat Police had sought the help of Mumbai Police, and the accused was held at the Ghatkopar police station. 

Several other media outlets had also reported on the incident. According to the Deccan Herald, Azhari was arrested on February 4. As hundreds of his supporters gathered outside the Ghatkopar police station in the Maharashtra capital demanding Azhari's immediate release, the police resorted to mild baton-charge to dispel them, the newspaper said. 

The last Google Maps Street View from the Ghatkopar police station is from 2021 and is not updated. However, the signboard marking the Ghatkopar police diesel pump, as seen in the viral clip, can still be spotted. 

It should also be noted that violence in Haldwani erupted on February 8, and the viral video in question has been on the internet since February 6. 

The verdict

The video shows police in Ghatkopar, Maharashtra, baton-charging protestors rallying for the release of Islamic preacher Mufti Salman Azhar. It's not connected to the violence in Haldwani. Therefore, we have marked this claim false.

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