Is A WhatsApp Video Of Muslims Attacking A Rath In Bhagalpur True?
WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter
By: Soumadip Dey
A video is being shared on across social media platforms showing a group of men attacking a vehicle. The vehicle was adorned with saffron flags, while the person recording the video shouts ‘Allah hu Akbar’, and the accompanying description states that the incident took place in the Bhagalpur area of Bihar.
The two videos above were recently circulated through different WhatsApp groups. They show a group of men attack a procession and assault a vehicle decked with saffron flags. The man recording the video is clearly visible and keeps shouting ‘Allah hu Akbar’. The other video also shows people pelting stones at the vehicle. The videos are accompanied with pictures of people bleeding profusely.
The videos and pictures were mostly shared in and by right-wing Hindu WhatsApp groups with an accompanying description in Hindi, which read:
‘बिहार के भागलपूर मे मुसलमानो ने शोभायात्रा पर पत्थर फेके और आग लगा दिया।
हिन्दुओ तूम बस सोते रहो ।
हिन्दु कि औलाद हो तो 1,2,3 जितने भी Group है share करो 🚩🙏🏻’
When translated to English, this reads as:
‘In Bihar’s Bhagalpur, Muslims hurled stones at the Shobha-yatra or procession before setting it on fire.
All this is being done while Hindus keep sleeping.
If you are a Hindu by birth then share in as many groups as possible.’
The video, with an identical narrative, is also up on YouTube.
However, after the videos and pictures were shared on WhatsApp groups, they soon made their way to Facebook and Twitter. Much like the video that claimed a soldier was killed by a mob in Kashmir (this story was debunked by Metafact), this video was also shared and posted by multiple accounts indicating that they got the video and the description through similar WhatsApp groups. Some of these posts have received hundreds of shares on Facebook.
The videos and pictures are not new and are definitely not from the Bhagalpur region. Both the pictures have been seen earlier, when violence broke out recently during West Bengal’s Panchayat elections. The pictures were used with the description that the victims were opposition candidates who had gone to file nomination papers. The pictures were shared widely on social media, and even made it to some online media portals.
However, the first picture is in fact from September 2017. According to a news report, this man was injured during a domestic dispute.
The second image, of a bleeding woman, is actually from Rajasthan and was first posted on the 2nd of April, 2018, in a Google+ post. It was picked up from here and used in connection with the Bengal elections.
While Metafact is still trying to determine the original source of the videos, they have also appeared on the internet before, having been used to inflame communal tension during Ram Navami earlier this year, when clashes in rural Bengal left at least three dead.
The exact same videos were then shared on social media platforms with a description claiming the attack was carried out in rural West Bengal. One of the videos claimed it was carried out in the Ranigarh district of West Bengal.