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A TV news screengrab while the Octopus operation was being held at MGM Hospital in Warangal, Telangana. (ETV Telangana screengrab)

Warangal mockdrill hits headlines as terror attack; Here’s the truth

Just after the state assembly elections, the Telangana Police wanted to test its elite commandos team OCTOPUS’ (Organisation for Counter Terrorist Operations) skills and conducted a mock drill in a temple complex and at a hospital on January 11 and 12, respectively.

But the video of the drill was used by some miscreants to spread false news on social media stating that there was a terrorist attack at the Tirumala-Tirupathi bypass road and it even mentioned that one person was killed and three were arrested. Later, mockdrill hashtag was attached to the Youtube video headline.

Here’s a twitter screengrab:

In fact, the local police had released a statement to the media stating that the mockdrills were conducted at the behest of the state DGP and Warangal Commissioner. See the video headline put out by a website here:

After conducting the mock drill, police officials told the media present there that the drill was conducted on the orders of the state Director General of Police. See video below:

The city police official has clarified that it was merely a mock drill and not a terrorist attack. The mock drill involved highly skilled commandos and there is nothing to worry about, he said in Telugu. It was held “to send a message to the people that the police is always ready to rescue them in case of any terrorist attack.”

This is not the first time that a mockdrill by police was wrongly depicted as real. A similar drill in Jharkhand was depicted as MP police firing at farmers in Mandsaur earlier on social media.

 

About Rajesh D.V.

Rajesh is our Correspondent based in Hyderabad, with more than 10 years of experience in covering Telugu news for regional websites such as MFMonitor, among others. He has also undergone training for sourcing data and analyzing it from a workshop held by Data Leads in collaboration with the Google News Initiative. He can be reached at telugu@digiteye.in

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