Video of Telangana Police detaining women during 2018 Bathukamma festival shared as recent

By: Rajeswari Parasa
November 2 2023

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Video of Telangana Police detaining women during 2018 Bathukamma festival shared as recent

Screenshots of the misleading claim circulating online. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Misleading

The video was captured in 2018, when the police prevented BJP members from celebrating the flower festival of Bathukamma without prior permission.

Claim ID c04c47a8

What is the claim?

A video showing an argument between a bunch of women and police officials is circulating online with the claim that the police in Hyderabad, the capital of the southern Indian state of Telangana, cracked down on Hindus recently for celebrating Bathukamma. Bathukamma is a Hindu flower festival celebrated prominently in Telangana and some parts of Andhra Pradesh in the months of September and October. 

The video in question has been shared by many users with communal undertones. One such user shared the video on X (formerly Twitter) with the caption, "Police arrested Hindhu women in Charminar area Hyderabad because they celebrated the bathukamma festival...The police said that they have to take permission for the bathukamma festival..... is this India or Pakistan? So All Hindhu ppl plz think about what is happening with us (sic)." Similar posts were also shared on other platforms, and archive versions can be found here, here, here and here.

Screenshot of the claim circulating online. (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, this claim is misleading, as the video is from 2018 and does not capture a recent incident.

What are the facts?

As the old video started going viral on various social media platforms, we looked for reports about police arresting Bathukamma revelers in Charminar, Hyderabad, recently and came across no such news story.

However, we found a News18 Telugu video report published on October 17, 2018, titled, "Bathukamma near Charminar, BJP leaders arrest." The video report, which showed similar visuals as the viral clip, added that tension prevailed at Bhagyalakshmi temple near Charminar when police tried to stop members of a women's wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from playing Bathukamma without allegedly obtaining prior permission. The report further mentioned that arguments between the police and the BJP women leaders escalated, and the latter were eventually taken into police custody. It is worth noting that Charminar is a heritage site located in the Old City area of Hyderabad and is inhabited by a Muslim-majority population.

A similar video was shared by 'TD News 24×7' on YouTube in 2018 titled, "Charminar Police arrested 25-30 women for playing Bathukamma without permission at Falaknuma." The video also shows the same women arguing with the police personnel. This establishes that the viral video is not recent. 

With the old clip going viral, Hyderabad Commissioner of Police Sandeep Shandilya also took to X and clarified that the video is not recent. "This is an old video being recirculated by some troublemongers— as if it happened recently. Don't believe in misleading posts. It happened many years ago. We have initiated action against the persons indulged in spreading this old video with misleading comments (sic)," read the tweet.

Screenshot of the tweet made by Hyderabad City Police Commissioner(Source:X)

Logically Facts also contacted the Telangana BJP women's wing, who confirmed that this incident occurred in 2018 and is not recent. K Geeta Murthy, president of Telangana BJP Mahila Morcha, said the incident had occurred when their members tried to play Bathukamma at Bhagya Lakshmi temple near Charminar. "Stating that there was no prior permission taken for the celebrations in that area, our members were stopped by the police," said Geeta Murthy.

The verdict

An old video of the police stopping BJP women members from celebrating Bathukamma without permission in 2018 has been peddled as that of a recent incident. Therefore, we mark the claim as misleading.

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