Social media users have been sharing a clip of a man hitting a police officer with the claim that the offender is Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Anil Upadhyay. The video has incited an extreme response from the netizens who are calling out the party as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
However, as it turns out, the video is an old one and the man in it is not BJP MLA Anil Upadhyay, as stated by those sharing the footage.
The video was shared on Twitter by State President of Western UP Youth Congress Omveer Yadav who wrote, "Look at BJP MLA Anil Upadhyay, when this is the condition of the police then what will happen to the general public. We all are living under Narendra Modi's rule. See the reality, countrymen."
BJP विधायक #अनिल_उपाध्याय की हिम्मत तो देखिये जब पुलिस का ये हाल है तो आम जनता का क्या होगा @narendramodi के रामराज्य में आप जी रहे,मेरे सत्य के प्रतीक देशवासियों आप भी देख लो @myogiadityanath का रमराज्य— Omveer Yadav (@OmveerYadavINC) January 15, 2021
@IYC @priyankagandhi pic.twitter.com/OUE3Jrqu5I
Garnering over 15,000 views and more than 1,000 likes within 24 hours, Yadav's post misled thousands on the micro-blogging website, resulting in a massive backlash for the Modi government.
"This should not be accepted at all. No one should touch uniformed police. You should take the strongest action," wrote one Twitter user in response to the viral video.
Upon reverse-searching a screengrab from the clip, the fact-checking desk of International Business Times, India, came to know that the incident had transpired back in 2018 in Uttar Pradesh's Meerut when Mohiuddinpur police outpost in-charge Sukhpal Singh Pawar went to BJP councillor Munish Chaudhary's restaurant to have dinner.
The entire fiasco was covered by a number of media outlets including ANI who had put out a tweet revealing that the two entered a heated argument post which Chaudhary physically assaulted the constable.
"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," reads the ANI tweet dated October 20, 2018.
Similarly, a Hindustan Times report on the same matter stated, "An argument allegedly broke out between the police officer and the staff of a restaurant run by a BJP councillor over a delay in order. The BJP councillor has been arrested and the police officer removed from active duty."
Thus, it can be concluded that an old video of a BJP councillor thrashing a policeman is being shared with a false claim.