BHOPAL: A controversy has erupted in Congress-ruled Madhya Pradesh after the police in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh tweeted a video showing cops damaging vehicles and other private property allegedly during Friday’s (December 20) anti-CAA violence in MP’s Jabalpur.
The UP Police through its official twitter handle UPPOLICE FACT CHECK@UPPViralCheck (created to perform fact checks of news pertaining to UP Police and expose fake news) tweeted a 1:48 minutes video on Wednesday claiming that the video isn’t related to UP Police, but is actually related to Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh).
In the video, which was possibly shot on December 20 (when ant-NRC and CAA protesters indulged in violence in Jabalpur), the cops wearing helmets and other anti-riot gear and wielding lathis are seen damaging private vehicles parked in the parking space of a multi-storied building as well as vehicles parked outside adjoining houses.
According to informed sources, the video possibly has been shot in Gohalpur police station area of Jabalpur, which was the nucleus of Friday’s violence.
Reacting to the video tweeted by the UP Police, the Jabalpur district police superintendent Amit Singh said “Even if a cop is at fault, we’ll take action. An investigation team headed by an ASP has been constituted to probe the entire matter related to the video tweeted by UP Police. The probe team will first ascertain the authenticity of the video, particularly as we’re living in an era when incidents which happened two to three years back in some other state are projected as the latest incident which happened in some other state, so checking the authenticity of the video is essential,” SP Jabalpur said on Thursday.
“No one has come to us so far with any complaint about damage to private property by police. If anyone comes with a complaint, we’ll probe it in detail and take stern legal action against the erring cops. Entire Jabalpur district police religiously worked on December 20 for maintaining law and order in the wake of the violence,” he added.
Singh, a 2007 batch MP cadre IPS officer, who originally hails from UP, however, was critical of the UP Police sharing the video. “I can’t understand why the video was tweeted with a Jabalpur focus. Instead of tweeting the video with the focus that it relates to Jabalpur, the UP Police could have simply stated that the video doesn’t relate to UP. On the same Friday when violence happened in Jabalpur, even greater violence happened in UP. Similar videos of UP violence went viral that day, but neither did I comment on them nor did we tweet to tell that they were related to UP. Be it UP, MP or anywhere else, the priority of cops is to establish peace, which we successfully did after the violence by anti-NRC and CAA protesters on December 20,” said Singh.
Meanwhile, the opposition BJP in Madhya Pradesh demanded that the Congress government in the state come clear over this latest development. “Till now videos have been going viral over social media to portray cops in BJP-ruled states as villains and to endorse a false narrative of BJP-ruled states failing to control violence during ant-NRC and CAA protests. Now with the UP police tweeting the video, it’s time for the Kamal Nath led government to come clear over this issue,” state BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal said.
Importantly, curfew was clamped in four police station areas of Jabalpur town after violence reportedly by anti-NRC and CAA protesters, including minors and teenagers. More than 10 cops were hurt in the violence in Jabalpur on Friday. Curfew was lifted three days later on Monday.