Fake Viral

No, MLA Ramkesh Meena was not beaten up by mob for tearing off saffron flag

Written by Md Mahfooz Alam

A saffron flag hoisted atop Amagarh Fort in Jaipur, Rajasthan was torn down by a group of men in presence of MLA Ramkesh Meena on Thursday, 22 July. A Meena community group led by the MLA claimed that the fort belonged to their diety and hoisting of the saffron flag by the RSS is disrespectful to the community’s code. The Meena community in Rajasthan identifies itself as a tribal with a separate religious code.

After the incident, a video is going viral on social media with the claim that the independent MLA, Ramkesh Meena was beaten by the Hindus for tearing down the saffron flag.  In the viral video, a man in the white kurta-pyjama can be seen manhandled and chased by the unruly mob.

Facto News found that the man in white kurta-pyjama in the viral video is indeed Ramkesh Meena.  However, the viral video is old and is not related to the incident of tearing down the saffron flag.

A Twitter user Saurav Srivastav posted the viral video. The caption along with the post reads: “भगवा ध्वज उतारने वाले रामकेश मीणा विधायक को हिन्दुओ ने दौड़ा दौड़ा कर पीटा”. ( Ramkesh Meena MLA, who took down the saffron flag, was beaten up by Hindus.)

(Photo Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

An archived version of the posts with the same claim can be found here, and here.

The video is viral on Facebook also with the same claim.

(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Screenshot)

Facto Check:

We fragmented the viral video into keyframes and reverse searched the keyframe images. The result directed us to an article published on India Today on 17 July 2018. The article carries one of the keyframe images of the viral video. According to the article, the video was also viral in 2018 with the claim of the man being beaten in the video is BJP MLA, Shankar Lal Sharma from Dausa, Rajasthan.

However, India Today in their investigation found out that the politician in the video is Ramkesh Meena. The video was shot at Gangapur city in Sawai Madhopur district during a Bharat Bandh called by the Dalit groups in protest against the supreme court ruling over the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989.

(Photo Courtesy: India Today/Screenshot)

We also found one of the keyframe images carried by an article of NEWS18 published on 7 April 2018. The article reports that the former MLA of Sawai Madhopur was beaten by the mob. It also reports that the incident happened on 2 April 2018 when the Bharat Bandh was called by the SC/ST community.

(Photo Courtesy: NEWS18?Screenshot)

Conclusion: 

The politician beaten and chased in the viral video is Ramkesh Meena, an Independent MLA who is supporting Ashok Gehlot’s Congress government in Rajasthan. However, the viral video of the MLA is old and it has no connection with the incident of tearing down the saffron flag.

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About the author

Md Mahfooz Alam

Mahfooz is a multimedia journalist and regularly writes fact-check stories for Facto News. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. He has worked as an intern fact-checker for The Quint. He specializes in research and fact-checking and aspires to do investigative reporting.

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