Police vs Johny’s: Did officials lie through Facebook video?
There are thousands of social media pages which are adored by netizens and general public. One among them is the official Facebook page of Kerala Police. The massive number of followers, likes and shares received by this page is a testimony to this fact.
However, a controversy erupted about a video that was posted on the official page of Kerala Police two days ago. Everything started with a YouTube video of a private bus speeding through a service road to avoid traffic block.
Johny’s escape route in Kuthiran
A private bus named Johnny’s is the hero of this video. The bus, which runs on the Thrissur-Palakkad route was stuck in a huge traffic block at Kuthiran. In an effort to escape the block, the bus driver took the vehicle through a service road. The bus moving fast through the bumpy and untarred road became a big hit. The video went viral on social media and was widely circulated under different hashtags for many days.
Netizens also created special hashtags and wrote comments as the bus was bearing the registration number ‘007’, made famous by Hollywood movies of British secret agent James Bond.
Johny’s in police custody
On September 19, the Kerala Police posted a new video of the bus. The video initially shows the earlier video of Johny’s bus moving fast through the service road. But soon, the music changes and the bus is seen stationed inside a police station. The bus was taken into custody after it collided with a moving car.
The video posted by Kerala Police also went viral on social media and the Facebook page was flooded with comments and likes.
What Kerala police said
According to police, the private bus – Johny’s - was taken into custody after it collided with a moving car the same day it was dangerously driven through the service road to avoid the traffic block. The police also mentioned that the post was a message to avoid such rash and negligent driving that puts public life in danger.
Real story behind the video
The private bus was taken into custody on September 15 after it collided with a car. Though both parties held mediation talks after the accident, they could not reach an agreement over the compensation amount. Following this, a case was registered and police took the bus into custody.
The earlier video of the bus speeding through the service road was captured from Vazhkumpara in Kuthiran. The video was uploaded by A. N. Sanchari (Ajin) on his YouTube channel ‘Extreme Roads Live’ on September 9.
Which means that the accident happened six days after the bus took the service road to escape the traffic block. In fact, the Kerala Police tried to mislead the public by merging the two videos and stating that the two incidents that actually took place six days apart happened on the same day.
Arguments and criticism
The video posted by Kerala Police came under harsh criticism from netizens. Many people lambasted the police for lowering their standards in a bid to get more likes. Many pointed out the pathetic condition of the roads. Some even said that the private bus driver mistook the service road for the National Highway due to its bad condition.
Many others criticised the police for preying on private buses while the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses which violated rules were not taken into custody. Some even challenged the police to make a similar video after taking a KSRTC bus into custody.
It must be noted that the video has raised question marks over the credibility of Kerala Police’s Facebook page which has been considered as transparent and trustworthy.