A four-minute video is being shared across social media platforms, claiming that paramilitary forces have arrived in Mumbai amidst the rising cases of coronavirus in the city.
All posts made, make the same claim in English, Hindi and Marathi.
Claim 1: “CRPF arrived in Mumbai.”
Claim 2: “मुंबई सेंट्रल पैरा मिलिट्री फोर्स आली आज सकाळी आता हाच एक पर्याय अतिदीड शहाण्यांना”
Marathi: Paramilitary forces arrived at Mumbai Central this morning. This is the only option left for the ‘very wise’.
Claim 3: “मुंबई सेंट्रल पैरा मिलिट्री फोर्स आ गई है आज सुबह”
Hindi: Paramilitary forces arrived at Mumbai Central this morning
मुंबई सेंट्रल पैरा मिलिट्री फोर्स आलीआज सकाळी आता हाच एक पर्याय अतिदीड शहाण्यांना
Posted by Bjp dahisar namo on Monday, May 18, 2020
मुंबई सेंट्रल पैरा मिलिट्री फोर्स आली आज सकाळी आता हाच एक पर्याय अतिदीड शहाण्यांना#Ab_Tumhare_Hawale_VATAN_Sathiyo 🇮🇳
Posted by Pradeep S. K. Vaskar on Monday, May 18, 2020
— Satish Rathod (@Satishrathod100) May 19, 2020
Welcome Para-Military Force in Mumbai.
This was the Last Option Left. pic.twitter.com/x3d2w2X1yl
— आओ भक्तों, गन्ना चुसो (@GannawaleBaba) May 18, 2020
The video was posted on YouTube by a user with the same claim.
We carefully analysed the video for any clues that point against the claims made.
The video shows a building called City Hospital, below which there is a shop called Prime Chemist. In the same frame, there is a 2-wheeler with its registration number starting with ‘MH 12’.
We used the keywords ‘Prime Chemist’ and ‘City Hospital’. One of the shops registered on the web directory Magic Pin returned a result of a store called Prime Chemist, below City Hospital in Bhawani Peth, Pune.
The registration number beginning with ‘MH 12’ also adds to the result, as city codes 12 and 14 in Maharashtra indicate that the vehicle is registered in Pune.
Further along in the video, the camera moves to show us the forces moving down the road. A residential building appears to bear the name ‘Leela Heights’ and while panning back to the hospital reveals a Kotak Mahindra bank branch.
To verify the location of these places, we used keywords like ‘Leela Heights Bhawani Peth’ and looked it up on Google Maps. The residential building was marked on the map as a shop called ‘The Art Lam’, which was down the road in the same direction as shown in the video.
We found a Marathi news report that discussed the introduction of the Rapid Action Forces, which are battalions of the CRPF in Maharashtra, to aid the pre-existing police force.
An article by the New Indian Express also talks about the Centre’s deployment of paramilitary forces in Mumbai, Pune, Malegaon and Amravati in Maharashtra, so that the state’s police force could have some respite.
Maharashtra is leading the country in the number of COVID-19 positive cases, with over 35,000 cases and 1,249 deaths (as of 20th May 2020).
We could, therefore, confirm that the video was not taken at Mumbai Central in Mumbai, but was shot at Bhawani Peth, East Street in Pune.