An image of a man violently attacking a policeman is in circulation on social media with the claim that the assaulter belongs to the Muslim community.
We verified that the image is old and the claim that the man attacking the policeman is from the Muslim community is completely false. The image dates back to 2016 and the incident happened when police had gone to vacate the encroachment in the ‘Ghanta Ghar” Market area in Jodhpur Rajasthan.
On Facebook, a user shared the image with a long misleading caption that reads: आत्मनिर्भर बनिये,संगठित रहिये…सुरक्षा के लिये पुलिस के भरोसे कतई न रहें…इस तेवर को गौर से देखो…चित्र जोधपुर के घंटाघर क्षेत्र का है.. अतिक्रमण हटाने के आदेश पर अव्यवस्थित खड़े ठेलों पर कारवाई हुई तो जिहादियों ने घेर लिया और पुलिस कॉन्स्टेबल के साथ ये व्यवहार हुआ…..पुलिसकर्मी ट्रैफिक हवलदार है, नाम शोभाराम। डरने के लिए इतना ही पर्याप्त है कि जो तेवर दिखा रहा है वो और आसपास घेरकर खड़े लोग… सरकार के प्राणप्रिय special-72 समुदाय के ही हैं…….ये हिम्मत कहाँ से आ रही है…? इसकी धार्मिक मान्यता से? या इसके मजबूत सामाजिक कवच से….? एक तरफा वोटिंग से? ये राजस्थान मे केवल 8 % हैं इसे पता है कि ये कॉन्स्टेबल मारा भी गया तो ये व्यवस्था इसका कोई खास बिगाड़ नहीं सकती है…….।
( Rough translation: Be independent, stay organized, and never rely on the police for security. Watch this attitude carefully, the image is of the Ghantaghar area of Jodhpur. There were orders to remove the encroachment, but when action was taken, the jihadis surrounded and the attack happened with the police constable. The policeman is a traffic constable, named Shobharam. It is enough to be afraid that the attitude he is showing and the people standing around him … belong to the dear special-72 community of the government. Where is this courage coming from? Because of its religious belief? Or because of its strong social shield? One way voting? It is only 8% in Rajasthan, it is known that even if this constable is killed, this system will do nothing to the attacker.)
On conducting a reverse search of the image, we found a newspaper clipping carrying the same image. The title of the report says that the head constable was assaulted by the hawker when asked to remove the cart.
The newspaper clipping also reports that the incident took place in Ghantghar, Jodhpur. Taking a cue from this we searched about the incident using the keywords. The result led us to an article published on 28 May 2016 on the website Lion Express, the article carries a similar image and also confirms the incident from Jodhpur, Rajasthan. The article identifies the policemen as head constable Sobharam.
On further searching, we found the incident reported by Dainik Bhaskar six years ago.
Fact-checking website Newschecker.in reached out to Jodhpur Police and talked about the incident with Sobharam, who is now working as Assistant Sub-inspector in Jodhpur Traffic police. He confirmed to the website, “the viral photo is mine but the claim that the man who misbehaved with me is from the Muslim community is false. He is Hindu and was arrested after the scuffle. This old matter is now being given a communal colour.”
Therefore, it is evident that the claim made along with the image is false and misleading.