The 2020 ration shop riots video from WB is falsely shared linking with Sandeskhali violence!

Claim

Look at the “monsters” of West Bengal. – How the police and Sheikh’s goons are beating sisters and daughters so that they do not raise their voices out of fear. A rapist like Shahjahan walks with his chest raised under police protection, and the victim women are being beaten with sticks.

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Explanation

During the past month, Sandeshkhali has become a hotspot as multiple women have come forward to accuse Shahjahan and his allies of “land-grab and sexual assault” while under duress. On Thursday morning, Sheikh Shahjahan, the leader of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) following his 55 days of evasion, was taken into custody by West Bengal Police in the Minakhan area of North 24 Parganas. Shahjahan is accused of sexual violence and land grabbing by multiple women in Sandeshkhali.

In this instance, a 13-second viral video shows a woman being beaten with a stick by police and a few other men as she screams and flees. In this scenario, we also witness a few people strolling. This post is shared with a claim stating, “Look at the “monsters” of West Bengal. – How the police and Sheikh’s goons are beating sisters and daughters so that they do not raise their voices out of fear.” The users went on to add, “A rapist like Shahjahan walks with his chest raised under police protection, and the victim women are being beaten with sticks..” You can view related posts with similar claims here, here, and here.

What’s the truth?

We began our investigation by using the viral video’s keyframes and a few relevant Google search terms, which took us to a YouTube video. This video was a bit lengthy and was uploaded by Hindustan Times on 22 April 2020.

Here, the video was titled as, “Police, locals clash in West Bengal over improper ration distribution.” In addition, the viral segment starts at 46 seconds and lasts up to 1 minute and 1 second.

When we looked into the description box it read “A scuffle broke out between police and locals in West Bengal’s Baduria region on Wednesday. The clash allegedly erupted over the improper distribution of ration in the area. Police allege locals of blocking the road in the area. Police personnel were seen beating up locals while the locals pelted stones at the police. This comes as the country is under lockdown till May 3 because of Covid-19.”

When we advanced our search, it led us to another article by the ABP News, which addresses the same incident dated April 22, 2020. According to the article, “A clash broke out between police personnel and locals alleging improper distribution of ration material. The police, however, have claimed that the locals blocked a road and when they objected, locals attacked them. The incident took place in Baduria, North 24 Parganas.”

With all of this information, it is evident that the viral video above is from the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.

Conclusion:

We therefore conclude that the widely circulated video, which purports to show police abusing women and connects it to the ongoing violence in Sandeshkhali, is wholly untrue.

The altercation is actually about the improper distribution of rations between the police and the locals, and the footage is outdated.

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Indu Meenakshi

Indu Meenakshi is a former Microbiologist-turned-journalist, works as a Sub-Editor at YouTurn. She additionally holds Master’s in Management and English Literature. As a fact-checker, her job entails actively dispelling false information found online, exposing fake news, and raising public awareness.
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