Fact check: Viral video of encroachments being removed is from Maharashtra and not Uttar Pradesh

Old video of anti-encroachment drive in Panvel goes viral as recent from Uttar Pradesh. Viral claims are false.

Fake claim about bulldozer action in Uttar Pradesh
Screenshot of video being widely shared on social media claimed to be from Uttar Pradesh, originally from Maharashtra. (PC: X)

Lighthouse Journalism came across a video being widely shared on the social media platforms where a bulldozer was seen destroying a few shops. It was claimed along with the video that after the defeat in UP, chief minister Yogi Adityanath is destroying the businesses of the poor.
During the investigation we found that the video is from Maharashtra and not from Uttar Pradesh.


X user PRBAZUKA shared the video along with the claim on his profile.

Check the archive version of the post here.

Other users too are sharing the same video.


We started our investigation by downloading the video and uploading it in the InVid tool and obtaining several keyframes from the video.

Through these keyframes we found out that the number plate on the bulldozer was ‘MH05FB8336’, suggesting that the video could be from Maharashtra.

Through the Parivahan website we checked the registration details of the number plate and found that the vehicle has been registered in Kalyan, Maharashtra.

We also checked the vehicle details on other websites and found that the vehicle was registered under the name of ‘Vikram Devichand Chavan’.

We then connected with Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) PRO, he informed us that Kalyan is not covered under the jurisdiction of BMC.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) consists of 9 Municipal Corporations viz. Greater Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan-Dombivali, Navi Mumbai, Ulhasnagar, Bhiwandi- Nizampur, Vasai-Virar, Mira-Bhayandar and Panvel.

We checked these municipal corporations as keywords on X, using the demolition term in front of these words.

We found a similar video from a different angle in which the Panvel Municipal Corporation term was used.

The viral video showed fruit vendors and the video shared on the above X handle too showcased the fruit vendors.

We also spotted a red colored electrical distribution panel in the video covered by pamphlets, which we could also see in the video uploaded by X user claiming to be from Panvel.

We connected with a Mumbai based journalist Deepak Palsule who confirmed the video of an action taken under Panvel Municipal Corporation.

We also found a news report that included the X post by Saleem who is a resident of Kharghar.

Through Google keyword search we found the viral video posted on the Instagram account of Newsband.

The caption said: The Panvel Municipal Corporation (PMC) carries out an anti-encroachment drive against hawkers in Sector 35D Kharghar on Ganesh Mandir Road. The video was posted on Instagram on December 15, 2023.

Started in 2005, Newsband is daily local English newspaper that is published in Navi Mumbai, Thane, Panvel, Uran, Kalyan, Dombivali, Ambernath and Badlapur.

Conclusion: Old video of anti-encroachment drive in Panvel goes viral as recent from Uttar Pradesh. Viral claims are false.