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Old Video of Youth Allegedly Assaulted by U.P. Police Viral After New Traffic Rules

Since the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 came into effect on September 1, social media has been brimming with videos which attempt to show alleged police brutality on commuters violating the new traffic rules.

The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 came into effect on September 1. Since then, social media has been brimming with videos which attempt to show alleged police brutality on commuters violating the new traffic rules. A video currently viral on Facebook has been circulated with the claim that a motorcyclist died on the spot when, during vehicle checking, a cop hit him on the head with a baton.

चेकिंग के दौरान पुलिस वाले ने बाइक सवार के सर पर मारा डंडा मौके पर ही गिरकर मौत ज्यादा से ज्यादा शेयर करे ताकि पुलिस की दादागिरी सभी तक पहुंचे…! ऐसे पुलिस वालों को तुरंत बर्खास्त करते हुए इनपर हत्या का मुकदमा दर्ज किया जाना चाहिए और इन्हें कड़ी से कड़ी सजा मिलनी चाहिए..!

बहुजन समाज पार्टी BSP I.T & Social Media Cell ಅವರಿಂದ ಈ ದಿನದಂದು ಪೋಸ್ಟ್ ಮಾಡಲಾಗಿದೆ ಶನಿವಾರ, ಸೆಪ್ಟೆಂಬರ್ 14, 2019

The above video was shared by Facebook page ‘बहुजन समाज पार्टी BSP I.T & Social Media Cell’ with the caption, “चेकिंग के दौरान पुलिस वाले ने बाइक सवार के सर पर मारा डंडा मौके पर ही गिरकर मौत ज्यादा से ज्यादा शेयर करे ताकि पुलिस की दादागिरी सभी तक पहुंचे…!ऐसे पुलिस वालों को तुरंत बर्खास्त करते हुए इनपर हत्या का मुकदमा दर्ज किया जाना चाहिए और इन्हें कड़ी से कड़ी सजा मिलनी चाहिए. (Policeman hit a motorcyclist on his head with a baton during vehicle checking. He fell and died on the spot. Share as much as possible so that the police’s bullying si revealed to everybody. Such policemen should immediately be terminated and an attempt to murder case should be filed against them. They should get the most rigorous punishment.)”

The video has also been shared with a message claiming that the incident took place in Tonk road, Rajasthan – “टोंक रोड पर चेकिंग के दौरान बाइक सवार युवक को मारा डंडा मौके पर ही युवक की मौत हो गई ज्यादा से ज्यादा शेयर करें ताकि पुलिसवालों की दादागिरी सभी तक पहुंचे.”

The clip is massively circulating on Facebook.

INCIDENT FROM JULY 2019

The incident dates back to July 22, 2019, when police in UP’s Hathras allegedly hit a man on his head. According to Asianet NewsMursan police were conducting a vehicle check near Karwan river when two youth riding a motorcycle were asked to halt for allegedly not wearing helmets. The youth sped away and stopped the bike at a distance. An enraged cop allegedly hit one of the youth on his head with a baton, rendering him unconscious. He was later taken to the hospital.

Dainik Bhaskarhowever, reports the incident differently. As per the media outlet, the youth were asked to stop because they were riding a bike without a number plate. Phool Singh, a resident of Rajasthan, was travelling with his brother Anubhav when cops stopped him at Karwan river bridge. When the duo tried to speed away, SI Akhand Upadhayay allegedly thrashed Singh with a baton and rendered him unconscious.

Singh was later admitted to the hospital and sent home after recovery, per Dainik Bhaskar. This suggests that social media claims alleging that the youth died on the spot are incorrect.

POLICE’S RESPONSE

According to both the above-mentioned reports, the police denied hitting the youth with a baton. According to Asianet News, SSP Siddharth Verma said, “Initial investigation has found that the two youth were on a bike. They were asked to stop during checking because they were riding without helmets. They first halted the bike but later tried to speed away. A constable held the bike from behind in order to stop it. This caused the bike to fall and the youth sustained injuries. He was later admitted to the hospital. The bike also did not have a number plate and the youth was inebriated. An investigation is underway. If any policeman is found guilty, necessary actions will be taken.” (Translated from Hindi)

A different version of SSP Verma’s statement was given by Dainik Bhaskar. He said that the police investigation found the allegation of the use of a baton false and further added that the motorcycle toppled over on a speed breaker when the duo tried to flee. He also said that a medical examination later found the rider to be under the influence of alcohol.

Yet another version was stated by the police on Twitter. In a reply to a user, UP police reiterated that the rider was drunk and he wasn’t hit with a baton. The alleged newspaper clipping shared by the police, however, gave further details which do not match with the previous statements. According to the purported clipping, the bike slipped and fell which caused the injury. It adds that passers-by are witnesses to the motorcycle slipping when the duo tried to flee and that the police did not hit the youth with a baton.

In the video, however, passers-by can be heard saying, “सिर में डंडा मारो चलती में  (Hit on the head while the bike was running.)” This is repeated multiple times throughout the video.

The clip does not represent police atrocity after the enforcement of MVA 2019. Furthermore, contrary to social media claims, the youth did not succumb to his injuries as claimed on social media. The incident, however, did occur although specific details about the cause of wounds cannot be conclusively established due to a mismatch in police statements across media reports.

This article was first published at Alt News.

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