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Old video shared as recent visuals of police brutally thrashing Kanwariyas in West Bengal

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A video is being shared on social media claiming it as recent visuals of West Bengal Police brutally thrashing Kanwariyas following the orders from West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. In the wake of the recent Kanwar Yatra 2022 that was held after two years in Haridwar, this video is being shared on social media. Let’s verify the claim made in the post. 

Claim: Recent video of police brutally thrashing Kanwariyas in West Bengal.

Fact: The video shared in the post shows one-year-old incident visuals of West Bengal Police lathi-charging lord Shiva devotees at the Bhootnath temple in Kolkata. The Kolkata police thrashed lord Shiva devotees for violating COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the West Bengal government. The video shared in the post is old and had nothing to do with the recent Kanwar Yatra. Hence, the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.

On reverse image search of the screenshots in the video, a video with similar visuals was found to be tweeted by the ‘BJP Bengal’ official Twitter handle on 16 August 2021. BJP described it as the visuals of West Bengal police brutally assaulting Shiva devotees in front of the Bhootnath temple in Kolkata.

When we searched for further sources using relevant keywords on the internet, we found the details of this incident in an article published by the ‘Dhainik Bhaskar’. According to the article, the West Bengal Police lathi-charged lord Shiva devotees for violating the COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the West Bengal Government.

In August 2021, following the second wave of COVID-19, the West Bengal government granted permission to open almost all temples in the state. But the Bhootnath temple in Kolkata was still restricted for devotees during August 2021. As it is the holy month of Sawan, several devotees violated the government restrictions and gathered at the Bhootnath temple in Kolkata to have the darshan of Lord Shiva. In an attempt to restrict the crowd at the Bhootnath temple, West Bengal Police reportedly lathi-charged devotees. A few other news articles that reported on this incident can be seen here and here. From all these pieces of evidence, it can be concluded that the video shared in the post is old and not related to the recent Kanwar Yatra.

To sum it up, an old video is being shared as recent visuals of police brutally thrashing Kanwariyas in West Bengal.

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