A video of a group of men brutally beating up two other men with thick branches is going viral on social media with a claim that it shows Rohingya Muslims in West Bengal beating Hindus and “breaking their hands and feet”. The message being shared with the video warns that one’s turn to come under this kind of attack could come any day now.
However, this video is old and from an unrelated incident that happened not in West Bengal but in Bangladesh and the claim with which it is being circulated now is completely false.
The 0:44 second clip shows some men beating up two men while some other people look on.
Roughly translated, the message being shared with the video says, “Again I repeat, Palghar was not an accident. After sadhus, now the general public is being lynched. It is said that this video is from Bengal and that Rohingya are beating up local residents who are Hindu and are breaking their hands and feet. It could be your turn tomorrow.”
Shared on Twitter by a user called Nitin Shukla who claims to be an investigative journalist, the tweet had over 900 retweets and 22.7k views at the time this story was published.
The video was shared with the same message by a user called Pushpendra Kulshreshtha.
The video was also viral on Facebook. A post shared by an account called Pushpendra Kulshresth Supporters had over 2.9k views.
It was also shared by many other Facebook users.
WHAT WE FOUND
On splitting the video into several keyframes and running a reverse image search, we came across several videos on Facebook from April 2020 which claimed that the video was from Bangladesh.
The caption of another post also mentioned that it was from Bangladesh.
On going through the comments in both the above posts, we saw people saying that the incident happened over the theft of an auto.
A user also suggested the video was from Bangladesh’s Cumilla.
We further came across another Facebook page, which had shared the video with the caption, “After being caught stealing an auto.”
We noticed that there was a battery-operated auto visible in the video and that a man could be heard mentioning an auto, saying that he had bought it after so much hardship.
Taking a cue from these clues, we ran a search on Facebook with the Bengali keywords “অটো চুরির জন্য মার”, which translates to “beaten for auto theft”. This led us to several pages which had shared the video in March 2019 saying that it had happened because of an auto theft.
One of these pages, called News media Bangla had uploaded the video on Facebook on 24 March 2019.
অটো চুরির অপরাধে চোরকে ধরে বেদম মার- এমন মারা কি ঠিক হয়েছে ?? আপনার মতামত কি বলে???
The other two pages had uploaded the same video with the same caption following this, on 25 March and 27 March 2019.
While we could not find any news reports about this incident, it is clear that the incident is old and not of West Bengal where “Rohingya Muslims are lynching Hindus”, but from Bangladesh.
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