English, Fake News

A video from Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar is falsely shared as a visual of houses razed in Ayodhya


In the context of the BJP losing the 2024 Lok Sabha election in the Faizabad Lok Sabha constituency, where the Ayodhya Ram Mandir is located, a video of houses being razed is doing the rounds on social media. It is being claimed as the reason for the Ayodhya people turning against the BJP. We fact-check this claim through this article.

Claim: The video shows houses in Ayodhya being razed.

Fact: The viral video was shot in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar (Aurangabad) in February 2024 when an anti-encroachment squad demolished houses near Mukundwadi railway station to clear land for an 80-foot wide road. Hence, the claim made in the post is False.

Firstly, we noticed that the viral video is flipped on the vertical axis and contains a watermark of an Instagram username that reads ‘jaihindshakeel.khan98.’ We then searched the internet and found the viral video on the Instagram page of @jaihindshakeel.khan98, a photojournalist at Lokmat Samachar Hindi newspaper. The hashtags mentioned in the video indicate that the incident happened in Mukundwadi, Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, Maharashtra.

A further search on the internet regarding this incident led us to news reports of Lokmat (here, here and here) and several other news outlets who reported (here, here and here) that in February 2024, ‘ the Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar Municipal Corporation (CSMC) anti-encroachment squad demolished 125 houses to clear land for an 80-foot wide road.’

This incident happened in Vishrantinagar near Mukundwadi Railway Station in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar. 

Lokmat Times reported that this demolition caused clashes between the residents and officials, which led to the police lathi charging and shooting tear gas shells to control the public.

The viral video shows people walking along a slow moving train on a railway station platform. The boundary wall of this railway station, which, according to the news reports, is Mukundwadi railway station, can also be seen in a detailed video report uploaded (here and here) on YouTube by ‘Marathwada Voice News.’ We also found a screenshot of a news report on this incident published on Lokmat on ‘Shakeel Khan’s Facebook page. One of the photos published in this report contains the same railway station wall as the one seen in the viral video. 

This establishes the location and also confirms that the viral video was filmed during the demolition of houses during an anti-encroachment drive in Vishrantinagar near Mukundwadi Railway Station, Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar. 

The Lallantop spoke to Shakeel Khan, Lokmat’s photojournalist, who clarified that the video was filmed in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, near the railway colony.

To sum up, an anti-encroachment drive video filmed in Maharashtra is falsely shared as being from Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. 


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