English, Fake News

Video of Past Communal Violence in Odisha Misrepresented as West Bengal Incident


A video showing a crowd throwing stones at individuals carrying saffron flags, and vandalizing vehicles decorated with the same flags, is being shared with the claim that it shows an assault on Hindus in West Bengal (here, here & here). This article aims to investigate and verify the accuracy of the claims presented in the post.

The archived version of this post can be found here

Claim: Video depicting mob attack on a Hindu rally in West Bengal.

Fact: These visuals show communal violence from a Hanuman Jayanti motorcycle rally in Sambalpur, Odisha, which occurred in April 2023. This incident is not connected to West Bengal. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.

The viral video does portray communal unrest, but it is not a recent occurrence as claimed. Instead, it was reported in 2023 in Sambalpur, Odisha, not West Bengal as claimed in the viral post.

A reverse image search of the screenshots from the viral video led to news reports featuring the same images from April 2023. These reports detail an incident of communal violence that erupted during a Hanuman Jayanti rally in the Sambalpur district of Odisha in April 2023. According to these reports, the clash resulted in injuries to at least 10 police officers, and several vehicles were set ablaze or damaged.

Additional reports concerning the incident state that Hindus held a motorcycle rally on Hanuman Jayanti, featuring over 1000 bikes. Media reports suggest that as the rally passed through Motijharan Chhak, stones were thrown at the participants. This reportedly escalated into violence, during which several vehicles were set on fire. A curfew was subsequently imposed to bring peace and restore normalcy to the area (here, here & here). This confirms that the viral video is unrelated to Bengal and an old incident.

To sum up, a video from a past incident of communal violence in Odisha is incorrectly being shared as being from West Bengal.


About Author

Comments are closed.