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Unrelated brawl footage wrongly depicted as ‘attack on Indian MP’


A video circulating online does not show a member of India’s opposition Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) being attacked by an aide to party leader Arvind Kejriwal. A police spokesman said it was filmed at a court family mediation center in the presence of an MP Swati Maliwal claimed she had been attacked.

“This had to happen, Swati Maliwal has been beaten up,” read part of one message after on social media site

It said the clip was filmed at the official residence of Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister of Delhi and head of India’s opposition Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Maliwal – an AAP politician and former chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women – accused Kejriwal’s aide Bibhav Kumar of assaulting her at Kejriwal’s residence on May 13 (archived link).

Kumar has refused the accusation, saying it “could have been done at the behest of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) while the country was holding a general election.archived link).

AAP leader Kejriwal is and has been a top opponent of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered to return to prison once the vote on a long-running corruption investigation ended.

Screenshot of the fake post, taken on May 16, 2024.

The video was shared in similar posts elsewhere on X and further Facebook.

Unrelated video

However, the video showed a scuffle between three women and two men.

A reverse image search on Google found similar videos in Instagram posts here And here stating that it was filmed at the Tis Hazari District Court Mediation Center in Delhi (archived links here And here).

The mediation center handles cases ranging from family disputes to insurance claims referred from the court (archived link).

Indian journalist Atul Krishnan Posted the video about X on May 12th, a day before the alleged attack on Maliwal (archived link).

Screenshot comparison of the fake message (left) and the original message (right)

A representative from the Sabzi Mandi police station nearby This is the Hazari court also refuted the claim.

The police officer told AFP that the incident took place on May 9, 2024 at the Tis Hazari Court Family Mediation Center, involving two feuding families.

“It has nothing to do with the incident involving Swati Maliwal,” the officer said.

AFP has debunked yet more disinformation about India’s elections here.

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