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Fact Check: Was a police inspector beaten by thousands of Muslims at Marina Beach in Chennai?

The policeman was not attacked by thousands of Muslims, there were only two miscreants who had attacked him, and one of them was a Hindu

A post, claiming that an assistant police inspector has been beaten by a Muslim mob, has been doing the rounds on Whatsapp. The Whatsapp forward contains the picture of an injured man and a blood-stained police uniform, bearing the name tag of one ‘C. Akilan’.

The Whatsapp forward is accompanied by a text that reads, “Assistant Inspector Akhilan, who tried to stop 3 Muslim youths in Thiruvallikeni area from abusing women under the influence of cannabis at Marina Beach, was attacked severely.” The message further stated, “Thousands of Muslims attacked police only yesterday. Is this India or Pakistan?”

Screengrab of the Whatsapp forward

What is the Truth?

A simple google reverse search of the image led us to the Facebook page of ‘I support Tamil Nadu police.’ On scrolling through the posts, we found that the page had shared the same image on August 24, 2019 from another page titled, “Tamil Nadu police.” The original post had the timestamp of August 21, 2017. As such, it can be concluded that the incident mentioned in the Whatsapp forward is not a recent event.

While assuming that the incident dates back to 2017, we looked for news reports about a police officer named ‘Akilan’ who was thrashed by a mob near Marina Beach. This led us to a Times of India article titled, “Man held for assaulting policeman on patrol.”

As per the report, the incident took place at Marina Beach on August 22, 2017 (Sunday) when police constable Akilan noticed two youths consuming alcohol. When he asked the duo to leave, it led to a heated argument. This took an ugly turn as the miscreants exchanged blows with Akilan. Amidst the brawl, the police constable was injured with a sharp object. While Akilan was rushed to the hospital, the accused managed to flee the scene. Later, the Marina Beach police apprehended one Hari Ram and remanded him to judicial custody on charges of attempt to murder.

Screengrab of the Times of India report

Conclusion

As such, the Whatsapp forward made several erroneous claims. The post claimed that there were 3 Muslim youths involved in the incident. It also alleged that they were smoking cannabis and they were abusing women. However, the Times of India report has made it clear that the accused were drinking liquor and were not harassing women. Besides, the policeman was not attacked by thousands of Muslims, there were only two miscreants who had attacked him, and one of them was a Hindu. Therefore the claims made in the Whatsapp forward are false.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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